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Today’s Truth

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Friend to Friend

Friendship is the springboard to every other love and the foundation for every healthy relationship. It is a proven fact that lonely people live shorter lives than those who have healthy friendships. Even Jesus needed friends when He walked this earth as a man. In fact, He placed great value on relationships. The Bible tells us Jesus spent much of His time deepening the relationships with a few – not the crowd.

God created us to need each other. That truth is never more evident than when we are in pain or struggling with some crisis in life. One of the main factors leading to a two-year battle with clinical depression in my life was the absence of replenishing friendships.

As I think back to that time, I am sure many women would have counted themselves as my friend when they were really just acquaintances because that was all I would allow them to be. My pride kept me from admitting I wasn’t Superwoman and that I did need the help of others. My insecurity held me back from reaching out to new friends and cultivating old ones. To admit my need of a friend seemed like a weakness instead of the precious gift God created it to be.

I refused to take the risk of being hurt, rejected or misunderstood. I did not have time to invest in building intimate friendships and was too busy doing the work of God to be a friend. As a result, when the darkness hit, I felt isolated and alone.

Friendship took on an entirely different meaning in my life from that point on. In fact, friends are a great source of strength and encouragement in my life today. Friends fast and pray for me, holding me accountable and confronting me when they see my priorities lining up in the wrong way. Friends make me stop and take time for fun. Friends have taught me to be transparent.

Have I been hurt along the way? Yes.

Have I been misunderstood? Yes.

Have the friendships been worth the price? Absolutely!

The words of Jesus found in John 13:34-35, portray the perfect backdrop for God’s love. “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now – love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Does the world know we are His disciples by the way we love and relate to each other?

Chad was a shy, quiet little boy. One day he came home and told his mother he’d like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. Her heart sank. “I wish he wouldn’t do that!” she thought. She had watched the children when they walked home from school. Her Chad was always behind them. They laughed and hung on to each other and talked to each other, but Chad was never included. Still, she decided to go along with her son’s plan. She purchased the paper, glue and crayons and for three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made thirty-five valentines.

Valentine’s Day dawned, and Chad was frantic with excitement! He carefully placed the valentines in a bag, and bolted out the door. His mom decided to bake his favorite cookies because she knew he would be disappointed when he came home from school. It hurt her to think he wouldn’t get many valentines – maybe none at all. That afternoon she had the cookies and milk on the table.

Finally, when she heard their voices, she looked out the window to see the children laughing and having the best time. As usual, there was Chad in the rear but walking a little faster than usual. She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he got inside. His arms were empty. When the door opened, she choked back tears as she said, “Honey, I have some warm cookies and milk for you” but he hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face glowing, and all he could say was, “Not one! Not a single one.” The mother’s heart sank. Then he added, “I didn’t forget one, not a single one!”

When God is in control of our friendships, and when we trust Him with those friendships, we will be better friends and we will have more true friends.

Let’s Pray

Father, You are the most faithful and most precious friend I will ever have. Teach me how to develop friendships that reflect your unconditional love and continual forgiveness.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • What is the greatest hindrance to friendship in your life?
  • What has been the greatest reward of friendship in your life?
  • Are you willing to take the risk of cultivating intimate friendships and of being a true friend? Explain.
  • Make a list of your closest friends and then picture life without them. What would that picture look like?
  • Make a specific plan this week to invest time in the life of a friend.

More from the Girlfriends

Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful? Check out Mary’s E-Book Bible Studies. Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study. I Need a Friend is available in Bible Study format. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

7 Responses to “The Gift of Friendship”

  1. Thank you for this devotional. I have struggled in this area all my life. This was a wonderful eye opener to me. I am going to pray that God provides me with some real true friends.

  2. Joy says:

    Praying for women of God to fervently pray for overcoming the harassment imposed by my boss at work. God can change a heart of stone. To soften his heart and not spend so much time plotting to bring me down. My Father in Heaven has overcome.

  3. Karen says:

    Our thoughts are so important in our day to day life. How important it is to have friends that will lead us closer not away from him and encourage us to take the right path. I am sure many women look out in reading girlfriends in God for that guidance our heart needs, while we find those friends in church or we pray for God to bring them into our life. Thank you “Girlfriends in God” for being those right friends “heaven sent”. love you all so much even though we haven’t met you touch me every day and have just the right words for me to start my day! And I will pray and look harder to find those friends and pray God can guide me in bringing those who haven’t heard of Him closer to Him and be a good influence over their lives leading by example! Gosh I am so motivated! This devotional is better than an early morning cup of coffee! Thank you for that

  4. Amy says:

    Thank you for your words. I struggle with depression, bad marriage,financial problems the list goes on and on. I start my day with your devotions and Mary your words help me. I look forward to more! Please pray for me. Thank You!

  5. Beth says:

    Struggling. I’ve been a Christian all my life. Lifelong member of a LCMS church. My son (a pastor!) came out as gay to me 5 years ago. Struggling. Many of my friends (understandably so) look upon this as totally wrong in God’s eyes. I have been thrown into a pit of constant whirlwind of asking God over and over again what He feels and thinks about the gay community. I have only confided in one friend about this. Her response was “What bible is your son reading from?” I am embarrassed and feel I cannot trust any of my friends to confide in about this matter. Subsequently, I am alone in it. I feel all my friends/acquaintances would ultimately talk behind my back about this issue, maybe I am too proud to let anyone know what I’m going through. Just like depression, having a gay son and coming from such a strong conservative church background is not really ‘attractive’. Not supposed to happen….. 😞

  6. Deb says:

    I do not remember how I came across Girlfriends in God…but ever so thankful I did. Every time you gals share, God speaks thru you to abundantly touch my heart. Thank you, Lord! May God abundantly shower you each with blessings in return.💓Be blessed this day!

  7. Michelle says:

    Thank you for that reminder of why friends are so important. I know that is part not only my struggles but my husband’s as well. It is hard to put myself out there when all the people of tried in the past have either turned against me or invitations have gone flat. Still I know there are friends out there for me, and for my husband. I have to leap again.

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