“Let Me Show You the Way” is an old but favorite song from Michael W. Smith. He really captures the heart of true friendship.
This song by MWS speaks to what I believe is a human longing. It is a longing for a good friend who loves at a deep, heart-level. These are the friends that are safe. They let you take down your “front.” You can be real with them. Vulnerable.
When I was struggling, I had some real good friends who were willing to receive my pain without judging. They loved me in word and deed. So glad God gave me those friends (and family).
Scripture teaches us that this sort of empathetic relationship is the church at its best. Paul teaches as much in his famous analogy of the church being one body:
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
– I Corinthians 12:26, NLT
What difference if this was how the church normally functioned for faithful spouses? To be fair, I know some do act this way as I experienced it and have heard stories of such places as well. But all too often the message given to faithful spouses is to hide their pain and not make church people uncomfortable.
Some people do not want to pay the empathetic costs.
Only true friends do. They are the ones who really live out the words Paul penned here so many years ago. These are the people who live as Christ’s body, indeed!