Tips on Biblical Friendship
I’m not sure if Covid and its isolation played a role in our thinking or rethinking of friendships. But I know during this time of “hunkering down,” I insulated myself, and my friendships did not thrive. Covid is in the rearview mirror now, but I do think we are experiencing some residual effects. Let’s do some thinking and see what we, as friends, can do to think biblically about friendship. I’ll dive in with a line from an email a friend recently sent me; “I really enjoy doing life together with you.”
The saying “doing life together” is thrown around a lot these days. I really like the saying, and I think I understand the intent behind it, but what does it mean for ladies to “do life together”? One of the answers is: “life together” is friendship. What a kind gift God has given us as women, giving ladies the desire and the need for each other. In fact, doing this “life together”, enriched by godly friendships, is a true joy! Let’s take the occasion of Mother’s Day to do some friendship inventory.
Most of us tend to learn about friendship from whatever the culture (good or bad) may be throwing out at the time. While working in student ministry, I have to stay hip! I know Facebook is for the older folks (notice I did not say seasoned), and most of the other “socials” are for the younger crowd. No matter which social(s) you use, even “good” church-going ladies would say social media has had an impact on their view of any and all of their friendships. It is a little scary to think just how much power social media may have on defining who we are and who or what our friends should be. Don’t let “socials” dictate or take away from God’s kind gift.
Acknowledge that the world is misleading, and sometimes we do or say the wrong thing (intentionally and unintentionally)! But don’t let the fear of the “world” keep you from being salt and light in all of your relationships. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways know Him and He will make your paths straight.”
As you are modeling dependence on Jesus, remember you are still trying to figure out just who you are in Christ, and “socials” can do far more harm than good. Be transparent and not a know-it-all. Show grace and mercy. Learn to be a really good listener. Be patient and practical with your answers. Point other ladies to Jesus by taking them to His love letter. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”
When was the last time you sat down with a friend and had a good, godly conversation? Ask questions of the ladies God has placed in your path, whatever their age may be. Ask questions that will foster honest conversation. You will not have all the answers, but the good news is you don’t have to. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” May this sweet truth help keep us thankful and confident as we seek to build godly friendships.
Don’t be afraid to get into the weeds. It will be uncomfortable (and often hard), and you will feel inadequate. Know that if you are not speaking the Truth into their lives, someone will be speaking lies that may eventually become their way of living. If there is one thing I know I need in my life, it is friends who will speak His Truth in love to me. Proverbs 27: 6 says, “ Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
The final check is to have fun with the friends God has graciously given you. Because of Jesus, you can be a friend, and you can make new friends! Laugh (a lot) and enjoy God’s good and kind gift of friendship. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Ladies, God has made us “social” beings with emotions and a real need for each other. I pray this Mother’s Day you take the opportunity to thank the sweet friends in your life. The friends God has given you to “do this life together”. Also, I pray you would become this kind of friend to someone in need of Jesus. Let’s be friends who boldly share the gospel as we are “doing life together”.