Why We Need Friends

by GfG on August 29, 2012 · 2 comments

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We need friends.  Some need to interact with them more often than others, but all humans need them.  I’ve heard it said that some people just don’t need friends.  I beg to differ.  Let me lay out my case.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs addresses friends and friendship a number of times (including 12:26, 16:28, 18:24, 20:6, 27:5-6, 27:9).

David and Jonathan were an example of loving friends, as were Ruth and Naomi, Elijah and Elisha, Job and his three friends, Paul and his ministry partners, and more.

The LORD and Jesus are both described as being our friends.

Jesus spoke of friendship.  John 15:12-15 

Clearly, God has provided the gift of friendship to his special creation: humans.  He describes it as a good gift.  We should seek out good gifts from the LORD.  He has a purpose in them.

As far as the gift of friendship, there is plenty of reasons to see why having good friends is something God desires for us.  Just a few:

To teach us how to think of others: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Phil 2:3

To mature us: Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. Prov 27:17

To challenge us: Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Prov 27:6

While it is true that we can learn these things from our family, I submit that it requires more of dying to self to do it for people whom we don’t already love and who don’t already love us.  For those who are outside of our routine.  For those who may not see everything the same way we do.

There is another aspect to some friendships.

Titus 2 has a section on how older men and women as well as how younger men and women are to behave and how they are to encourage and teach.  This teaching was expected to be carried out by example and by speaking into each other’s lives.  I challenge that this is best done through relationships.  Close, caring, relationships = friendships.

As women, we are to have older women in our lives that can teach, admonish and love us.  We are to have younger women in our lives that we can do the same for, out of love.  If we are only willing to have one kind of friendship, then we are choosing to ignore a biblical teaching.  We have to be intentional, but not in a “I’m gonna teach you something” kind of way; in an “I want to love you” kind of way.

If we don’t make time for friends, then we should consider why.

  • Are we being selfish?
  • Are we unwilling to sacrifice some time?
  • Do we think no one is good enough?
  • Do we keep ourselves closed?

I challenge you to figure out ways to make, keep and prioritize friends.

It doesn’t matter if you are in introvert or an extrovert.  Those leanings don’t affect whether or not you should have friends, they just affect how easily you make them and can affect how you treat them.  Each of those leanings have pros and cons, learn to work with and around them.  I have both introvert and extrovert friends who have blessed me tremendously by sowing into my life.

It doesn’t matter if the friend lives close or far away, though it’s much easier if they live near you.  There are ways to make and keep friends no matter the distance.

Prioritizing friends doesn’t take a lot of time:

  • Send texts and emails.
  • Make calls (go ahead and tell her it has to be a quick call, if that’s the case) or even Skype sessions (even if you live in the same town).
  • Go old school and mail a card or letter (raise your hand if these are still very special to you!).
  • Make time for just you and her.  These don’t have to be all day affairs.  Lunches, play dates, and coffee chats build relationships.
  • Share your heart and ask about hers.  This really is key.  Surface conversation is for acquaintances, not friends.  At the same time, don’t expect every friend to pour all manner of things out.

Just as anything else, we can make friendship idols.  We can spend too much time on them.  We can manipulate them for our own purpose.  We can make them about us alone.  Be sure to keep them focused on the right things.

When they are focused on the right things, God can use them to can change lives.  He has mine.  Seriously.

Let’s encourage, equip and engage the hearts of other women by truly being friends.  

 

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