If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you. -Winnie the Pooh
The number one question I receive on college campuses is “how do I make friends”?
Friendships are some of the most important relationships in life, aside from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and perhaps a spouse.
Friendship is truly a gift from God. Moses had Aaron, David had Jonathan, and Ruth had Naomi. But how many of us have an amazing group of friends that we trust, love, and can confide in? Who is in your corner? Who has your back through thick and thin? When tragedy strikes, who is holding you up in prayer? Who plans surprise parties for you and your family? Who asks you challenging and tough questions? Who sharpens your personal relationship with Christ?
A famous and healthy friendship demonstrated in the Bible is the friendship of Ruth and Naomi. They were not only friends, but family. Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law, and even after the death of both of their husbands, they remained close. Throughout their story, Ruth and Naomi demonstrate four pillars of friendship:
- Where You Go I Will Go
“…where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16)
Where have I been looking for friendships? If you have been looking for friendships in the nightlife of bars and clubs, you may regret what you find. I would encourage you to begin praying and looking for a Bible-preaching church that would expose you to more faith-filled friendships. Friendships determine your destination and direction of life. Pastor Josh Skjoldal says, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” Pray for a group of friends that you get to do life with, and you’ll find that where they go to church is where you go to church.
- Where You Stay I Will Stay
A friend in Christ will be a positive influence in your life, offer prayer, and provide godly wisdom throughout your friendship. There are multiple female friendships that have taught me the importance of entering into the presence of God through prayer and worship. I have learned that when you worship God with friends, you cannot help but desire to stay in his presence. Friends will teach you how to remain in God’s presence.
- Your People Will Be My People
In solid friendships, there is always room for more people. There have been several times when I have opened my friendship circle and come to find a lifelong friendship waiting to be established just beyond the circle. Having a group of faith-filled friends allows opportunities to witness and lead others to the Lord. When we open our friendship circle, we have the potential to invite or to be invited into a group of people. You may have the opportunity to be “adopted” into a friend group just like people are adopted into the family of God. Your friend circle will be my friend circle.
- Your God My God
When friends are mutually walking alongside Christ, you both will naturally thrive in your personal relationships with God. One of the greatest joy in life is leading a friend into relationship with Jesus Christ. Your God becomes their God.
There is nothing more beautiful than finding healthy friendships. True friends will sharpen your walk with the Lord, challenge you to make wise decisions in life, and point you to the heart of Christ. If you find yourself longing for true friendships, I would encourage you to start praying that God would provide those individuals. We serve a Father who provides and knows what we need. If you already find yourself in healthy friendships, I would encourage you to open your friendship circle today to the possibility of more.
You can read the book of Ruth to unpack the full story and see God’s faithfulness of providing friends.
Micah Kennealy is a Chi Alpha pastor with her husband, Josiah, in Bloomington, Minnesota. She and her husband lead the movement called Minnesota Young Adults. Micah wrote her first book in 2017, Worth the Wait: Because I’m Made for You. She loves seeing young adults discover their purpose in life, influence their workplaces and grow in relationships. (Check out micahkennealy.com)