O to be young and in love! Lauri and I dated all of the way through college and we wanted to be together all of the time (we still like being together 30 years later:). I remember one warm, fall day that we spent together, and we just didn’t want the day to end. Unfortunately, our school had a 12AM curfew, so that night we made the decision just to stay out all night. It was an innocent desire, we had no intention of breaching any purity choices in our relationship — and we did enjoy being together that night. We took walks and talked and had desserts at a local restaurant. Around 4 AM though we became pretty sleepy, so we just got in my car and went to sleep.

The next morning we went back to our dorms to get ready for classes, and my best friend was waiting for me. He had come by my room late that night and discovered I was not there. He demanded to know where I had been. I told him Lauri and I had stayed out all night, but it was ok, nothing inappropriate happened. And he let me have it! He told me I had no business putting our relationship in such a dangerous position, and that as a Christian man, I should have realized the potential pitfall I had led Lauri and myself into by that decision. I was angry at him. I mean, nothing bad had happened. We hadn’t done anything wrong! I walked away from him feeling like punching him! But you know what? A few hours later I realized… he was right. Innocence notwithstanding, I had led Lauri into a situation that could have turned unhealthy in our relationship. That afternoon, I sought out my friend and apologized for my reaction, and thanked him for caring enough to confront me.

I am so grateful for guys like PJ in my life. Guys that have challenged me when I needed challenged. Encouraged me when I needed encouraged. And had my back when I needed someone at my back. Guys who really truly wanted me to become more like Christ. The power of Christian Community is a wonderful thing. Over the years God has used Christian Community to help me grow in Him, make wise choices, correct wrong behavior and even to call me into full-time ministry. Who are you doing life with? Do you have folks in your life like PJ? I love what Hebrews 10:24 says…  “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” To me, that is what Church Family is all about!

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