I realize it’s possible to lie to an accountability partner, but I still think it’s important someone asks us hard questions. More than that, I think it’s imperative we have at least one God-given friendship with someone of the same gender who can read our heart. Here’s the way Kent Hughes summarizes it in his book, Disciplines of a Godly Man (though, I suspect his words apply to godly women, too):[i]
Men, if you are married, your wife must be your most intimate friend, but to say, “my wife is my best friend” can be a cop-out. You also need Christian male friends who have a same-sex understanding of the serpentine passages of your heart, who will not only offer counsel and pray for you, but will also hold you accountable to your commitments and responsibilities when necessary.
Here, then, are some questions worth asking. Even if you don’t use all of them, maybe some will be helpful to you:[ii]
- What have you read in the Word this week?
- What has your prayer life been like this week?
- Have you shared Christ with anyone this week? If so, who?
- Who is closer to God this week because of your life?
- Have you fulfilled your calling to the best of your God-given ability this week?
- Where have you seen God work in your life this week?
- Have you given priority time to your family?
- How would your spouse and children answer the last question?
- Have you been with a member of the opposite gender anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
- Is there anyone other than your spouse for whom you are developing feelings?
- Have you exposed yourself to any material, including soft-core social media, that’s led to arousal?
- Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
- Are you hiding anything? If so, what?
- Which of these above areas are you most going to work on this next week – and what’s your plan?
- Have you just lied to me about anything?
[i] R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man (Kindle Locations 991-993). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
[ii] Several of these questions come from Chuck Colson’s book, The Body.