Friendships are a gift of love from our Heavenly Father above. I truly cherish the friendships God has blessed me with! I am thankful for every unique individual that God has brought into my life. That is inclusive of my blood family, my in-laws, and especially my husband! Just family alone has given me so many special friendships. My little “sister” by marriage is my best bud forever.
Friends make life so pleasant! Proverbs 17: 17 tells us, “A friend loveth at all times…” It is a joy to have friends that truly love you. And whom you love in return.
Of course, our truest and closet friend is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is our most genuine friend. Unlike our earthly friendships, His love and relationship with us has nothing to do with what a good friend we are to Him. Jesus laid down His life for all of us while we were such awful sinners (John 15:13-15).
How precious to be called a friend by Jesus! Christ held true love and concern for us, though we were so undeserving. Christ is always faithful and forgiving to us. Christ’s “friendship” with us should be our example in our relationships with others. He is our master teacher in all areas of life. Let us strive to be worthy of the title given to Abraham in James 2:23, “…Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God.”
Throughout God’s Word are instructions on how to be a friend and on who is not a friend. God mentions over a hundred times in His Word about friends, so it must be important to Him. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” Proverbs 27: 17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” God’s Word will help us to be better friends, better wives, and better mothers. His Word will teach us to be cautious with some who may not be true friends, especially those people who are of this world and its ways. James 4:4 tells us, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
We must also be careful of whom we choose as our intimate friends, especially as godly women. We need to always remember whom God gave as our dearest friend here on earth: our husbands. The women we choose as friends should help us to be better Christians. They should never replace our husband’s friendship. We must be careful to never rely on our friend’s advice and help over our husband’s, nor over our Heavenly Father’s Words of guidance.
Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines friends as: “One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which leads him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity.” I like that definition, don’t you?
I have been blest with so many precious friends, but I have a very special friend who has been traveling life’s highway with me for over 36 years. We have lived far apart for most of our friendship, but our hearts are always thinking of one another. I know that we will still be dear confidants and friends when we are old and gray and sitting in our rocking chairs. (Well…okay, the old and gray has already started.) She is encouraging, faithful, trustworthy and she keeps me focused on our Heavenly Father. I know she loves me very much and I hope she knows that I love her very deeply, too. Her name is Sue and we know God must have smiled on the special day we met. I love to tell the story about how we were both new in town and my mother convinced me to cross the street and ring Sue’s doorbell to meet her. We laughed at that first meeting, as she wore a top made out of the Raggedy Ann fabric that I was wearing on my shorts that day. We both loved to sew and had used the same material. Fun!
God is still blessing me with wonderful friendships. I wonder who is just around the corner in His plans? He presents friends to me when I least expect it. He must love to see me smile! Christian ladies need to be friendly to all they meet. We need to be concerned for the soul and the well being of all our acquaintances. Sometimes friendships are full of struggles, but God will always guide us and He doesn’t want us to give up on any of our friends.
Because of poor choices in friendships, sadly, I have seen Christian women become lost from words spoken from their friends outside of Christ. Remember, “There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25). And, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19). When we are searching for answers to perplexing and troublesome things in our lives, we need to look to the wisdom of God’s Word and to our husband’s help first, for they have a sincere love for us.
Be sure that you honor your husband and your own mother and father with a respectful and loving friendship. Help your children to call you their closest friend and confidant, but not a silly friend who is someone only to be silly with. Our family should be our most cherished friendships, after Christ.
Cherish those godly friendships that God has brought to us. They can bring so much encouragement and joy! They will comfort us in our daily walk. Always nurture and honor these friendships; showing true signs of appreciation. We need to be good listeners and to be encouraging to our friends as they grow in godliness with us. Help them find God’s Way if they are lost. Do not intrude where you do not belong, though! Pray for them. Be gentle, patient and understanding. Never hold arrogance or meanness or any kind of envy in your heart. Make sweet memories. Laugh. Have fun. “He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants seeds of friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love” (Unknown). Plant seeds of friendship wherever you go. Be a true friend to God, your husband, and your family and to your acquaintances. Be a blessing to your friends!
Originally posted on October 13, 2013
By Susan Follis
Susan Follis lives in Lamar, Colorado. She and her husband, Jim, have been married 35 years. They have six children and four grandchildren. She loves learning about being a godly wife and mother.