About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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Reader Interactions


  1. I’m so glad you’ve given up on perfect because this post made me smile. Okay, I laughed;) Thank God for good friends who will erase all embarrassing moments from their memories when asked!

  2. mary…such a great way to highlight iron sharpening iron. and a truth about spiritual maturity…how you actually do want to know or hear the truth because on the other side is growth or freedom. love it. thank you for sharing such a personal moment we can relate to! –kris

  3. I love having friends like that. I usually figured out they’ve noticed the zit, however, when they stop making eye contact while I’m talking and are staring right at it.

    Friends open up the Altoids box and ask if you want one.

    Best friends say, “Here, you need an altoid.”

  4. First of all, I totally had to throw away my favorite jeans this week because the small hole near the back pocket was getting bigger, and I didn’t want it to become some sort of embarrassing incident. I wanted to keep wearing them, but I knew that wasn’t the best idea. 🙂

    Secondly, I love this post. I’m thankful for these kind of friends and I strive to be this kind of friend. Some days are better than others, as with everything.

  5. I had to smile when I saw this post. I too have only 2 pairs of jeans to where that are about to wear through any day now and I keep telling myself I have to go shopping.
    I have a friend who will always sharpens me like iron. I try to be a friend like that too but find that often there are people in my life that are not all that interested in being sharpened. I long for more friends that care enough to tell you like it is especially in light of the Word of God.

  6. I feel the same way about not wanting my close friends to ignore my sins and struggles. Recently I asked for accountability in a specific situation and to my surprise, not one of the 4 friends I told about the issue ever asked about it again, it’s been many months.

    In my desire to share accountability, I made what I now see to be an error in judgement. I very gently pointed out a different perspective to something a friend was ranting about online. What I got in return was nothing short of an unrelenting attack.

    Now I’m wondering, how do we move into the kind of friendships where we will put forth the effort to “watch each others’ backs” and have the humility to listen to our friends when our behavior sets off warning signs in their heads?

    I know that accountability has been used as a weapon. I pray for it to be restored to its rightful place of being a powerful piece of armor in this very real spiritual war we’re fighting.

  7. RIGHT ON!!!! ! I’ve learned so much from friends that spoke the truth!
    (…Like that an iv pole in my living room was kind of freaky!) I know that sounds weird…but sometimes life is just way too weird!
    It Isn’t easy-at all. But each time I think it helps peel away another layer of denial and pride. I don’t like pain, but I do want to “decrease” and find the joy that comes in His increasing!

  8. I am so encouraged by this post. (I do hope I have honest friends to tell me the truth about my jeans! 🙂 I am reminded of a day in 5th grade where on the walk to the playground A GUY told me that my skirt was tucked inside my pantyhose! Nightmare! He was really mature about it, thankfully.

    On the deeper, I identify with others that commented about wanting deeper/truer friendships with women who will make it a priority to sharpen/hold each other accountable. Many times I feel that women are too insecure about themselves to be honest about their struggles/shortcomings. I have my insecurities, but strive to not let them hold me back from seeking to be a more godly influence on my family and friends. I desire to no longer be “one that shrinks back”. Not to be a “weak willed woman” who is swayed by popular opinion.

    Maybe a forum should be created to find women from here and there who desire to be REAL!

    I’m going to blog about this issue and link your post, if that’s ok. 🙂

    • Oh my word, Amanda, I am dying to think of 5th grade you!!! But yes, it’s interesting how many of us desire an authentic, accountable friendship…while at the same time, most of us are afraid of those kind of friendships, too!

      (And it’s always okay to link to my posts. 🙂 )

  9. Love this post! Amen girlfriend…iron sharpens iron…I do have friends that will tell me about the spinach in my teeth; when my skirt is tucked into my underwear (lol); and when I need to turn emotional eating over to God 🙂 I do strive to be that kind of friend to others as well. Having sisters in Christ to be accountable to can do wonders for our spiritual growth…going deep and staying rooted in the word of God…Praise Jesus 🙂

  10. Ahh, Mary! You encourage and make me laugh at the same time. I adore you.

    I do have a few good friends who aren’t afraid to give me honest advice about those sticky things. They are invaluable!

    And if it makes you feel any better, I sat through my kids’ first parent/teacher conference at their current school with my zipper down. {Shudder} I still get hot in the face when I think about it!

  11. Oh how I long for more of those friends! I try to be one, in a not too intrusive way….but find more rejection than acceptance in it.
    Please, send me an email link to that forum when it gets created Amanda! Lol.
    I’m ok with the rejection in all honesty, if its something they can’t handle in me, I can’t take it personally. I tell myself that they are just not at that stage in life yet, and one day they will have an ah-ha moment and see where I was coming from in our relationship communications. I’m so beyond the “where I’d u get those jeans, or boots, or necklace, or hair colouring?” Stage….that’s the first two minutes of my time with you, the next hour+ is more on what God is putting on your heart.
    I’m praying for God to bless me with friends who get me….even just one more would do! Lol. It would give the one or two I have a little more relief from my boisterous and outgoing self. ;-). God knew what he was doing when he made me, so he also knows what I need! 🙂

  12. I’m sure if anyone DID notice, they thought you were on the cutting edge of some new hot trend, and they wished they had enough confidence to wear a pair of jeans with a rip between the pockets. 🙂

  13. I gave up/never tried for perfect! Martha Stewart doesn’t live with me!!! 🙂

    I long for true blue friends who would tell me the truth no matter what & I long to be that same kind of friend for them!

  14. Funny thing is I just found a couple holes in my jeans and I’m not sure how long they’ve been there either.

  15. Yeah, I do have friends like that. I don’t always agree that I should talk to someone, because only God and I can change me; other people can’t do it, but I definitely appreciate friends wanting to help and give me advice.