Mom Up: Day Five
Together, Side by side
READ: Hebrews 10:24-25
In Hebrews 10:24–25, Paul wrote: “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other.” This passage highlights two things we can do to help others in our community: provoke and encourage.
The word provoke may sound negative at first, but the idea here is to call out and challenge the people who are walking through life with us, and to encourage them when they are struggling. Our closest have earned the right to speak into our lives this way, because this is how we help each other grow. When one of my close friends sees me slipping, she has the right to “provoke” me. When I’m being impatient with my kids, she can call me out on it. When I’m being short with my “stubborn” child, she can encourage me by reminding me that God has a purpose for that stubbornness. When I am not giving my kid the benefit of the doubt, she can challenge me to see things from a different perspective.
Real relationships don’t always look like an image from Instagram or a scene from a TV show, because refrigerator friends are those who get down in the nitty-gritty of life. They don’t just call us out when we need calling out; they also encourage us by scrubbing our dishes, praying over our fears, rocking our babies to sleep, and holding our hands when nothing makes sense. And we do the same for them.
Encouragement doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. It can be showing up with coffee. It can be delivering a meal during a hard season. It can be sending a note in the mail. It can be as simple as a text to say you are thinking of your friend. The mutual accountability we experience when we are in genuine community allows us to push one another forward and deeper in relationship with the Lord. It’s our job to motivate and inspire one another to be the best we can be and to encourage each other to mom up!
Are you willing to open the door to community? To drop the shields that are keeping people out? Are you ready to do the work it takes to find genuine community? I find that I’m always a better mom when I am leaning on the women around me, when I’m being provoked and encouraged by my tribe of moms.
When we allow ourselves to dive headfirst into genuine community, we find the gospel lived out right before our eyes. And yes—real, genuine, biblical community is hard. But when we find that community, those refrigerator-rights friends who push us to be more and encourage us in our weaknesses, we grow and become better moms because we are doing life together, side by side.