I have been doing a lot of thinking about friendship lately. As a therapist, people come into my office with a variety of issues. One of the questions that I ask at the very first meeting is about their “support system.” It is important to find out who they have in their lives that they can rely on…not just family, but friends as well. It always saddens me when people tell me that they don’t have any friends that could be there for them in a time of crisis or deep need. It is at that point that many of them add…”I don’t have time to make friends.” My automatic thought is…”we don’t have time NOT to make friends!”
Throughout my life I have discovered the true blessing of having some deep friendships, but it has taken time and effort to cultivate those friendships, they didn’t just happen overnight! The Bible has a lot to say about relationships in general and I often remind people that we were created FOR relationship BY our relational God! We were created with a deep desire to be in relationship…our spirit cries out for this!
So how do we develop those true friendships?
1. We must show ourselves friendly!
Proverbs 18:24: “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
2. We must learn to love and cherish our friends…this means to NURTURE the relationship! Spend time together, call to chat, remember special occasions together and be a shoulder to cry on if need be!
Proverbs 17:18: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
3. We need to realize that at times friends that we love and trust may need to tell us the truth about ourselves. God designed it that way…that is how we grow! I always say that people have to “earn” the right to tell me the harsh truths in my life. True friends earn that right by walking through the sunshine AND rain together…laughter AND tears!
Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
4. We must DESIRE true friendships and seek after them as God directs me! God speaks to us in so many wonderful ways on this earth and often it is through our dear friends!
Proverbs 27:9: “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Women’s ministry is one way that we can connect with other women! So here is my challenge to you: make it a priority to meet one…or two…or…throw caution to the wind…make THREE new friends! Now is the time to join in, but it won’t happen if you just sit back and wait!