START HERE

Today’s Truth

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

(Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV)

Friend to Friend

The emotional demands on women are immense. One of the ways God replenishes us emotionally is through friendships. Many women are convinced that the risk of having close friends outweighs the rewards. I disagree.

There is no love without risk. Every friendship must contain the element of risk if it is to grow and mature, reaching its full potential. Ruth was willing to risk her very future for the sake of her friendship with Naomi.

John 15:13 says it well: “Greater love has no one than this; that one lay down his life for his friends.” When we choose to lay down our life, we automatically take a chance on being hurt, rejected, betrayed, or misunderstood.

Anyone who knows me also knows that living foliage is doomed to die a premature death if left in my care for any length of time. I have even been known to kill a plant without touching it. In fact, the only hope any plant of mine has to live past its purchase date is for me to ignore its existence with great diligence. I am certain you can understand why I am in awe of anyone who gardens and is actually capable of growing green things.

I once had a neighbor who was known for her green thumb. In fact, everyone in our small Mississippi town knew that the most beautiful roses were found in Joyce’s back yard. It was in that same yard where I learned an important lesson about friendship.

Every afternoon, after their naps, I took our two children outside to play in our fenced-in back yard. While Jered and Danna enjoyed the fresh air, neighborhood friends, and their swing set, I enjoyed visiting with Joyce. Most of our conversations took place over the vine-covered fence and her dazzling Rose garden.

I loved to watch Joyce plant, prune, water, feed, talk and even sing to her “Rose Babies.” She always wore a long-sleeved shirt covered by a canvas apron and a pair of thick gloves to protect her arms and hands from thorns. It wasn’t enough. Joyce’s hands and arms were always scratched from her work in the rose garden. She didn’t seem to mind.

One afternoon, our conversation abruptly halted when she yanked her hand into the air and yelled, “Ouch!” Seriously? When I asked her why she insisted on growing roses instead of some safer and less prickly foliage, her answer was profound. “The beauty of the roses is worth the occasional wound they inflict,” she replied. Joyce had learned to handle the roses with respect and in such a way that her wounds were few. Friendships are much the same.

Yes, friends will hurt you. Friends will wound you. We would be wise to don thick emotional gloves when it comes to handling friendships. It is a fatal mistake to assign the responsibility for our happiness to friends. Depending on a friend to make us happy sets that friend up for failure in the relationship, and positions that friendship for inevitable destruction.

The words of 1 Peter 4:8 say it well, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” In this verse, “cover” literally means to “hide” or “overlook” the faults. Friendship knows the weaknesses are there, but chooses to love anyway. Every friendship has a price tag of some kind attached. We just need to get to the place where love covers the cost.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to thank You for being the ultimate Friend. You have never let me down or turned away from me – even when I have turned away from You. Please help me be the kind of friend You want me to be so that Your love can flow through me in my relationships.

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

Is your life filled with joy? Do you understand what true joy is? Grab a copy of Mary’s new journal, Joy Journal. It will guide you in such a way that you will get into the habit of seeing God’s handprints in your daily life. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

7 Responses to “The Price Tag of Friendship”

  1. Shannon says:

    Wow! Did I ever need this! Here I am a almost 42 year old woman and my husband is not only my best friend, but my only true friend. The last “true” girlfriend I had was when I was in high school and I moved away and lost touch and that was the end of that. I’ve had “friends” between then and now, but not a true friend. It has been so long since I have had “true girlfriends” that I don’t know how to act or be around them…lol. One would think I’m still that awkward middle school girl, but look at me, I am that awkward 42 year old. We have moved to be closer to our church and the women there are amazing. I am just now finding myself trying to reach out, but then my guard goes up and I start being all awkward again. It’s a vicious cycle. Lord, please help me! I long for friendships. Give me the boldness and confidence to be who You say I am. Help to put any all guards down and allow people in and friendships to blossom. I love my husband so much, but sometimes I need more…just a girlfriend. 🙂

  2. Tessie says:

    Dear Shannon,

    I just had to write. I’m a 50 year old woman. I understand your need for a simple friend who is a girl. My guy just died 3 months ago. How i miss him. Prior to his death, i started thinking i needed sister friends. He was my go to guy for everything. Now i’m A lost soul without him.

    I have been blessed with a Best friend from over 20 yrs. She and I talk daily. She is my “other sister”. The only true problem is she lives 5 hour away from me. (I moved away 10 yrs ago). But we still chatter and chatter on and on when we get a chance.

    But when it comes to meeting other women, I used to feel they don’t need “friends” if they are married. I didn’t want to intrude. I”m single. I have time to truly devote to a new friend. I never realized (until you) how much i was missing by not reaching out to married women in sister friendships .

    Its been an eye opening moment. thank you!!!!

    May God bless you with some new treasured sister friendships. I guess we all need them. No matter how old we get. I know i do.

  3. Sharon says:

    In response to Shannon on 5-13-18. I am 43 and in that exact same boat. My husband is my best friend and has been for the last 26 years. We too are thinking about moving closer to our church so we can be more involved and hopefully develop some friendships with other believers. Our past friendships have all faded away since we started living our lives for Christ and it does get lonely at times. Reading your response reminded me that none of us are in this alone. There are people all around us facing the same struggles. I also have walls I have to break down in order to form those close relationships that I so desperately long for. It’s hard sometimes to find “your kind of people” if you know what I mean. I will also be praying for boldness and confidence to be who the Lord says I am.

  4. Jenn says:

    I feel the same way! I have tried to make friends and I seem to fail every time!

  5. Angela says:

    To Shannon, thank you for your honesty. I am 49 years old and feel the same. I love that my husband is my best friend! I just really long for a true Godly girlfriend. I have always struggled with this. It is nice to know that I am not alone. It also helps me to think that if I will let down my guard there are probably many other women out there who feel the same. Father I pray for every woman who is searching for a true girlfriend in God. Help us to tear down these walls and be who you say we are and help us to reach out to one another. The woman we reach out to may just be feeling the same way. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN

  6. abby says:

    glad i read this today. over the course of my 37 years just last year I find out who your REAL friends are. (which is basically my hubby my mom my one best friend who understands what I went through and my other buddy who is out of state. )but other than that I am at peace. no more drama/fakey/unchristian/2 faced so called friends. I am just happy with just God, hubby our families our church family and the two that I mentioned. those who have genuine relationships with REAL friends treasure them. again I am at peace and happy. and its hard for me to make friends up where my hubby and I live since I cant drive and cant work. (we are foster parents) plus everyone already knows each other. again I am at peace happy and perfectly content on just the few buddies I have. ( I am a introvert except for church and grocery shop).

  7. Teresa says:

    I enjoyed reading these candid responses; gave me food for thought, thanks.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8