Friends are such an important part of our lives, aren't they? It is wonderful to be able to share our lives with others. To be able to depend on someone, share with someone and just have fun with someone. Friendships are important and its even more important to nurture our true friendships. In fact, the Bible speaks very highly about the role of friendship in our lives.
I am a social person by nature. I love people and I love to get to know new people. My prayer is that I am always friendly and kind to every one but true friendship goes beyond that. We may have many friends and I pray that we all do, but generally, there are only a select few close friends we truly trust with every aspect of our lives. It is these close friendships that we must nurture. If we want to have a friend on whom we can depend then we have to be that friend. If we need a friend to just listen to us, we need to be a listener as well. If we need a friend to support and strengthen us through prayer and support, we better be willing to do the same. And when you need a friend to be honest, even if it hurts, you need to be brave enough to be that honest friend, too.
Do you have friends like this?
Are you a friend like this?
Proverbs 27 speaks many verses on the topic of friendship. Each verse spoke volumes to me this week and they have made me thankful for the many friendships that God has given me throughout my life. Let's look at these verses together.
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. ~Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV
We are a fallen people living in a fallen world. Sin and temptation abounds around us. As Christians, we must be vigilant and not get caught up in the ways of the world, but we are not perfect and at times we will fall. It is at those times when the accountability of a true godly friend are most important. A friend who loves us so much, that they can't sit back and watch us fall into sin, but instead, will lovingly call us out on what we are doing so that we can make the choice to do the right thing. This kind of friend cares so much for us that they would rather lose our friendship than to see us hurt ourselves and those who love us. True friendships can be strengthened and rebuilt after hurts and wounds.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. ~ Proverbs 27:9 NLT
I have recently sought counsel with a few of my closest friends on a situation in my family. I know that these friends love the Lord and truly strive to serve Him with their lives. I knew that I could share with them my heart and how I feel hurt with this circumstance. These ladies have listened to me, prayed with me and encouraged me with God's word and their kindness. Their heartfelt counsel has been sweeter to me and soothed my heart more than I could have hoped. I hope that in times where they need me, I can do the same for them .
Never abandon a friend- either yours or your father's. When disaster strikes, you won't have to ask your brother for assistance. It's better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. ~ Proverbs 27:10 NLT
I have personally seen this verse lived out, both in my family and my husband's. When I was a little girl, my Daddy's best friend was always around. Literally, he was at our house for dinner almost every night. He was a great friend to my parents and although he was physically disabled he would break his back to do anything to help my family if we needed it. He had grown children of his own, but they weren't close to him. I was 17 when he passed away and that's when I realized how true this verse was for both him and our family. My Daddy was the one called when he passed and it was up to our family to make arrangements for his funeral. We did not forsake this friend. My family planned and attended that funeral because we loved him. Many of his own family did not come and those who did, wanted to know what kind of belongings he had left behind the moment the service was over.
My father-in-law's best friend was a part of my husband's family for many years. When I first met the family I met this friend as well, because he was just a part of the group. My husband asked this friend (who is old enough to be his father) to be a groomsmen in our wedding. My children have always known him as a part of the family, like another uncle. He was always apart of our family holidays and sometimes even family vacations. My husband's Dad was tragically killed in a car accident almost 10 years ago, this close family friend was with him. My father-in-law's death has been one of the hardest things our family has gone through. Grief can do crazy things to people, and unfortunately it took its toll on my husband's family. It's been almost 10 years now and even though healing has begun, there is still much hurt, bitterness and division within this family. However, my sweet husband has always thought it was important to keep up with his dad's friend and be there if he ever needs us. They aren't as close as they once were, but they do try to keep in touch and they both know that they are just a phone call away if needed. In fact, up until we moved out of state last year, this friend joined us for Thanksgiving dinner at our table every year. God puts people in our paths for a reason, don't forsake them.
I want to leave you with one last verse on friendship. I pray that this verse will speak volumes to you as you consider those friends God has gifted to you. It's a short verse but yet so powerful.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. ~ Proverbs 27:17
Our friendships should only make us better people. Be that kind of friend. Encourage your friends. Pray with them, pray for them. Share God's Word and His goodness with them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Listen to them and truly hear them. Share your heart with them. Care for them when they are in need and love them deeply. And if you are blessed enough to have friends that do all these things for you..... thank them for their friendship and thank God that He placed each of them in your life.
My Heavenly Father, thank you for these friends that you have given me. All my life, you have known just the right people to bring alongside me on this journey and I'm so grateful for each of them. Thank you for the friends you have given to my husband, my children, my parents and to our family as a whole. We are blessed because of them. Lord, help me to be the kind of friend that you have described for us in Your Word. May I be a friend who sharpens another, who gives heartfelt counsel, who gives gentle and loving rebuke and who does not forsake those you have placed in my life. Thank you Lord, for the gift of friendship. I love you, too, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Keep reading, Sweet Sisters!
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.