Choosing an Accountability Partner

Guest post by Sharon Fiberesima

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. — Proverbs 37:17

The importance of having an accountability partner is often overlooked since to most people, the concept of an accountability partner is foreign. The truth is that a lot of you already have accountability partners but it is a relationship you sort of fell into and so it has no formal definition. Yet, the role an accountability partner plays in our life is often a sensitive one that requires trust and should be a relationship that is entered into intentionally. Having an accountability partner means that you are surrounded by a person (or people) you can trust to be real with you.

What is an Accountability Partner? 
First of all, it is important to know for sure what an accountability partner is. In a nutshell, an accountability partner is that person that helps you to keep on track. You share your struggles, victories, dreams, and goals with that person and as you go through life, he/she helps you stay true to yourself and can draw your attention when your focus is shifting from the goals you have set. This person also offers prayer, encouragement and is there to cheer you on when you achieve your milestones. Ideally, this should be reciprocal.

What to Consider when Choosing an Accountability Partner 
An accountability partner is someone you choose; you get more meaning out of the relationship that way. So before you go choosing one, here are some things to consider.

  • Trust: Is this someone you can trust? If you do not already trust the person, can you grow to trust her? This is really important because you are going to be sharing some of your struggles and victories with this person; you need to make sure that you are on the same page. Also, do you trust this person to lovingly tell you the truth? What’s the point in having an accountability partner if you are not sure that you will get the truth from this person?
  • Core Values: It is not really possible to have as an accountability partner, someone who shares all your values; and if you do, you are a very lucky person. Still, you need to make sure that you both share the same core values or it is going to be a splendid waste of time.
  • Attitude: Is the person’s attitude positive and encouraging? This is someone you will be entrusting your dreams to for safe-keeping; you definitely do not want a fire extinguisher keeping guard over your dreams. In the same way, you also need to have a positive and encouraging attitude if you want to attract that kind of person to you.
  • Compatibility: Although it might work, pairing up with a 9-5 mom might not be very productive for you. This is because there are unique situations you would be facing, let's say as a work-at-home-mom that a working mom might not understand. You need to find someone who can appreciate where you are coming from and where you are going to. Choose someone who understands your situation.
  • Location: It is possible to have an accountability partner who is thousands of miles away. Thanks to email and Skype, you can still have as much contact as if you were next door neighbors  However, if you are the sort of person that needs a regular hug and the occasional lunch out, you might want to consider someone who lives close by.
Learning how to choose an accountability partner is an important step in growing as a woman of God. It is something you need to prayerfully consider; don’t rush into the relationship. You could decide to have one accountability partner or a group of accountability partners. Just make sure that you are all on the same page.

Sharon Fiberesima is an expat Christian wife who found herself in the unique position of having to earn an income from home. Living in a foreign country and working as a freelance writer and WAHM, she understands the isolation many WAHMs face and created WAHM-encouragement, a free bi-monthly ezine to offer encouragement to WAHMs.