Whether we like it or not, God made us for relationship: with Him and with each other. If you’ve been hurt by others or are introverted and shy, you probably don’t like that God expects us to broaden our friendships outside the front doors of our comfort zones.
That’s okay. I didn’t much like it either when I started figuring it out.
Most people these days tend toward self-sufficiency, and we like to reinforce that with pop psychology.
- Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
- Put on your big-girl panties.
- God helps those who help themselves.
Common mantras, but is that really what the Bible teaches?
Wisdom in Being a Worthy Friend
Some women make life more precious, and they are worth your time to seek out. ~Carrie Daws, from Beyond Warrior’s Bride: Other Miltiary Spouses
One of the passages of Scripture people will go to to prove friends are necessary is Ecclesiastes 4:9–10, and it definitely promotes working together.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Those are great verses, but let’s not check our brains at the door.
First, how does the sentiment in that passage of Scripture hit you? Several people come to my mind that make this delightful. The best of friends make the worst of jobs not so bad.
But a couple of ladies come to mind that aren’t as pleasant to think about. In fact, I fear I may not be able to control my temper after just one or two hours. I know—not a very Christian attitude, but it is honest.
Verses Out of the Whole Biblical Context
This showcases how dangerous it is to take one verse out of the Bible and create an entire theology out of it. The rest of the Bible has some wonderful advice we should heed when it comes to friends, and these other verses balance Ecclesiastes with wisdom.
Consider 1 Corinthians 15:33 that says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
Or Proverbs 22:24–25:
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
God wants us to be wise in our relationships. The problem is that most of us don’t take the time to do that. Not really. We often fail to learn the basics of how to even be a good friend ourselves.
So let’s start there. We can’t change others, but we can change ourselves.
4 Steps to Becoming a Worthy Friend
1. FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE
Being a good friend means following the Golden Rule.
In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Matthew 7:12
It’s really quite simple. Do you want to be listened to? Then be a good listener. Do you want someone to go to your favorite restaurant with you? Then go to someone’s favorite restaurant with them.
2. SHARE YOURSELF
I love that one of my friends knows my favorite homemade desserts and always makes one for me for my birthday. But if she only knew how much I love her lemon bars, it would be a very shallow relationship!
If you want great friends, you must share more of yourself than the name of your favorite restaurant or the store you can’t walk by. You can’t hide who you are and expect other people to feel close to you. Great friendships are built over time, and intimacy grows as feelings, hopes, and fears are shared.
3. GET HEALTHY
Being a good friend means taking care of yourself. Now, being healthy is multifaceted and this post can’t possibly cover it all, but consider your emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Who wants to be around the person who always points out the dark cloud on the horizon? Who wants to always be talking another off the ledge or out of the pit?
I’m not saying we can’t have bad days. But we have to be the type of person who doesn’t live in negative spaces, and we must be ready to reciprocate when the school of hard knocks swings the other way.
4. OFFER GRACE
Finally, grant the other person the same grace you’d like to receive. We are all human. That is not an excuse; it is reality. We will all say words we regret. We will all forget important things.
Just as you’d like to be able to give apologies and make amends with those you disappoint, offer others the chance to apologize and make amends with you. Guard against the attitude that you deserve an apology, but instead, humbly focus on restoration within the relationship.
We have to be the type of person who doesn’t live in negative spaces. ~Carrie Daws, from Beyond Warrior’s Bride: Other Military Spouses
Finding great friends is hard but being a worthy friend is harder. Try to keep in mind Paul’s words to the Colossians in chapter 3, verses 12–14:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
So, Tell Me . . .
I want to know what you think!
- Did this post make you think a bit to make sure you’re on track with God? Write ‘Yes’ in the comments below.
- Does this motivate you to make some changes in your life? Write ‘Changes Ahead!’ in the comments below.
- Do you need to think about it some more or figure out what God wants you to do? Let me know you are ‘Still Thinking.’
- Anything else come to mind? Share it below! Your comments encourage me to keep writing, no matter how insignificant you think your thoughts about this post are.
If you want to read more from me about finding great friends, check out my ebook in the Beyond Warrior’s Bride series. It’s not just for military spouses, and it’s only $0.99!
Other military spouses can be one of the biggest stressors in a wife’s life. From gossipers to back-biters to spouse shamers, the problem is reaching epidemic proportions, and many don’t know what to do about it. What if you could find a better way? Instead of attacking the problem-women head on or avoiding all women entirely, what if you could find women worth knowing and cherishing?
No matter where you are, God placed around you women of great value, women who strive to love Him first, and women who want to love and encourage you. Instead of resigning yourself to a life of loneliness, let me show you who to avoid and what characteristics to look for in quality friends.