Friendship Circles

It all came to a head when Pete went to a men’s retreat. In the secure environment of that gathering, he ended up telling the entire crowd something personal about me. It seemed an appropriate issue to share—everyone was sharing at a deep level, praying for one another, and being encouraged.

But when he came home and told me what he’d made public, I was totally mortified: “You told them WHAT?!” How could I ever again face anyone who had been on that retreat? It was humiliating. Who else would they tell? How many of our friends would find out? I hadn’t done anything sinful—it was just an intensely private issue.

Pete was totally apologetic, and I forgave his innocent mistake. As a couple, we had never before considered what was appropriate to share with others, and what was just between the two of us—or at most a trusted friend or counselor. Until that point, we just sort of assumed the other person would somehow intuitively know what could be said in public.

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