Thursday, May 3, 2012


  As we get older, our friendships change. The things our friendships are based on change. The people we desire to become friends with change. Where we make friends changes. The number of friends we have change. I've had this desire to learn more about what God says about friendship lately. I'm not talking about the thousand friends we have on facebook, or the followers we have on Twitter. We all have lots of friends but I want to know more about what God says about those close friends and what he says about being a Godly friend and having a Godly friendship. First you have to go to His word and see what He says about friendship. I pulled out a few that stuck out to me.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.   John 15:13
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.   Proverbs 16:28
 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
I think at every stage you go through in life you need different types of friendships. I remember hearing our Worship Pastor speak about the types of relationships you should have surrounding your gift. He spoke of having someone in front of you, someone behind you, and someone on your level. I think it is similar in friendships. There are three different types of friendships that will help you grow and be the friend God calls us to be. 

One where you are a mentor. Someone you can teach and disciple. God calls us all to be disciples and bring people closer to him.

One where you are the mentee. Someone who may be older than you (not necessarily), but where you are being discipled to as if you were one of the disciples sitting at Jesus' feet. I can think of so many friendships where I have been the mentee. I regret to say I'm not sure if I've stepped up and been the mentor when I should have been.

Then the mutual friendship. This isn't based on one discipling the other but two people that are more along the same spiritual level.

Part of God's humor is how these friendships will change. Someone who was once a mentor to you, yall may not be part of a mutual friendship. Even when I talk about mentoring friendships, that isn't to say that the mentor in the friendship is the only one teaching. We all have so much to lear from each other as we are all at different places in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.

But whatever friendships you are a part of they are so important. Godly friends inspire us, motivate us, encourage us, love us, hold us accountable, lift us up, cry with us, baby sit our kids, make us meals when we're sick, bring us flowers to brighten our day, write us notes to lift our spirits or to just make us smile, sit and have a cup of coffee with us just to pass the time, give us fashion advice, share clothes with us, help us parent our children, teach us through their relationship with the Lord, give us Godly advice, and so much more. But strong Godly friendships take time. We must invest in one another just as Jesus invested in his friends, the disciples.

I read a summary of a talk Beth Moore gave that talked about friendship and she gave five characteristics of biblically sound friendships and I thought I would share.

1) The truest friendships are distinctive from any other relationship.

2) The truest friendships take place face to face.

3) Close friendships attach to the soul.

4) True friendships endure.
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
5) The truest friendships are trustworthy even with a wound.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6

I'm going to end this with a story that relates to friendships in the stage of life that I am entering. I found this on Beth Moore's blog from years ago but its such a sweet story that I had to place it on here today.

I can’t overemphasize how rich my fellow moms made my parenting experience. Particularly one: my best friend, Johnnie. She had two boys and I had two girls and we dragged those four kids to every McDonalds in Houston just so we could finish a sentence. We taught Mother’s Day Out together because we were both broke. We home-made family Christmas gifts because we didn’t have the money to buy them. (We spent what money we had on our babies.) I hate arts and crafts to this day and still have burns from glue guns. That’s not all. I’d decide I’d had it with Keith and I’d leave him in the morning sometimes, go to her house with my unsuspecting girls, drink a cup of coffee, get in a better mood, and be back home by the time he got off work. He’d walk in the door, ask about my day, and I’d say under my breath, “I left you today. That’s how my day was.” Hee hee. Somehow I’d feel some satisfaction with that, repent, then fall in love with him all over again. It was his looks.  

About five years ago, my buddy Johnnie’s oldest son, Jeremy, was just about to vow his life to the woman of his dreams. The music was already playing in the sanctuary and we were only about three minutes from the service starting. We looked around and suddenly realized that it was just the six of us left in the choir room: Johnnie, her two boys, and me and my two girls. The four kids were all beautiful, God-loving young adults. Johnnie and I had lived through it and they’d lived through us. Wow, Lord. The groomsmen had already gone to their posts and it was just about time for Jeremy to take his place through a sanctuary door down a long hall. Had we tried to manipulate a few moments alone between the six of us, we could never have pulled it off. It was a gift from God. The completely unplanned moment was not lost on a single one of us six and even now I could cry about the tenderness of it. Without anyone saying a word, Jeremy held out his arm for one of my daughters. Jordan held out his arm for the other. And Johnnie held out her arm to me. Arm in arm, three familiar pairs of us walked the long hall, laughing, and nearly crying, making our way toward the finish line of young family-hood just like we began: together. Those kinds of relationships don’t take place in five minutes. They take years. Crises. Prayers. Divine favor. Your fellow moms are some of the most priceless treasures God has bestowed on you to cheer you on your way to the finish line of young parenting. Grab some arms and do it together.

1 comment:

  1. I know, I comment too much. Can't help it. :)

    1.) you should post often about friendship because you are seriously gifted at it and everyone - all of us - could learn from your expertise.
    2.) we'll be the people in Beth moore's story when our kids marry I think :)