What Friends Are For

“A friend loves at all times.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

That’s a big order.  What kind of person loves at all times?  Well — a friend!  This week I will be posting somewhat regularly on friendship:  what makes a good friend, more on friendships with boys and in a few weeks forward, on what can destroy a friendship from the inside out.  But for today, I am going to be talking about girlfriends — those wonderful, laughable, giggly gals you have in your circle of closest relationships.

The thing about good girlfriends is the fact that they can share in your feelings, understand your mentality, comprehend your situations and support you in trial.  While guy friends are great (we’ll revisit their whole end of the deal at a later date) girl friends are going to be able to identify with you much better than guys.   Men have an entirely different outlook on life than women; they tend to be much more practical, less emotional, and often simplified (not simple!) in their thinking.  Their comprehension of the world is less complex than a woman’s.  For instance, in a romantic relationship the woman might go home after a date evaluating the inflection of the second syllable in ‘Can I see you again?’, while the man may simply go home thinking, “Wow, nice girl.  Glad she accepted another date.  What’s in the fridge?”

So friends that are girls can be a wonderful support to you.  Unfortunately, good friends can be hard to come by.  A ‘good friend’ is not defined by how much she laughs at your jokes or how many times you go out for coffee;  a good friend is defined by her character.  “Do not be deceived:  bad company corrupts good morals.”  (1 Cor. 15:33).  A woman of good character will encourage you to become a better woman yourself; one that lacks spiritual stability or who does not take seriously her walk with God will lead down her path if you spend ‘quality time’ with her.

What are the qualifications for a good friend?  There are several Scripture passages that can point to what she needs to be.  One of them is what I used for my WONDERFUL group of girls and boys here up north:  1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Since we know a true friend ‘loves at all times’, what does it mean to ‘love’?  According to that passage, love is “patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”

A true friend will either possess or be working on these qualities in her own life.  Most likely, it will be a combination of both!  We all struggle with specific temptations and sins.  This is very important to note, because what you require in a friend you must also be.  You know what they say:  “If you wish to have a friend, you need to be one.”  The standard you set for yourself will actually determine which friends you have.  If you are passionate about Christ, there will be people who don’t like you.  But you can bet it won’t be the ones who are passionate about Christ!  The same goes for hobbies and interests — a writer like myself doesn’t have a lot of girlfriends that like to hike.  I have friends that are artsy, intellectual, musical, and literary.  Who you are, what your motivations and interests are, will effect what friends are closest to you.

To check yourself on your Love Gauge, I suggest picking up a Bible and finding that passage in 1 Corinthians.  Read through verses 4-8 replacing your name for the word ‘love’.  Convicting, isn’t it?  Once you have done it, evaluate what you need to work on to be a better friend — and to better glorify Christ.  Meanwhile, perhaps you can find a very close girlfriend to keep you accountable… which gives you an excellent excuse to go out for coffee!!

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One Response

  1. I just spent an amazing weekend with some great, godly girl griends! I totally understand the importance of surrounding yourself with fellow believers and like minded Christians! Thanks for the encouragment!

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