I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people. (Rom. 16:2)

They looked around to see if there was anything they had missed. The centerpieces were lovely, dinner was almost ready, and the aroma of lemon cake wafted throughout their home. When the car pulled into the driveway, the family members hurried outside to embrace their friends with laughter and warm hugs. It had been so very long since they had spent time together. My how the children had grown!

Time had passed, yet they picked up right where they had left off. How special to have such a strong bond. Those years of prayer and hardship and support had knit them together forever, and no distance or time apart could erase that. When the meal was finished and the children had run off to play, the adults settled around the fire to tell stories and encourage each other. And true kinship radiated in those moments. For it wasn’t about the centerpieces, the clean house, or the beautiful meal; real value was expressed through connection.

God has created us for community with other people. He expresses his love through us. There is no gift that we can give to another greater than our vulnerability. Our willingness to reveal ourselves and connect at the level of the heart is what truly brings people honor. And there is no greater way to display the character of God than to love those he loves.

Don’t settle for superficial friendships; rather, pursue connection by being vulnerable.

Elizabeth Rhyno is a wife, mom, and pastor of relational arts at Waterline [Wesleyan] Church. Elizabeth chooses to pursue the Lord and lean into his heart for community.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.