"So, sweet friend, when will we see each other again? Tea at my house next Wed. morning, Thursday afternoon or the following Monday anytime. We need our time. Love you and praying."
This message always fills my heart with a sense of amazement. My friend thought of me--again! And she keeps us going because she invests in me, initiates to me, loves me--No Matter What!
What a gift to find a friend whose integrity keeps her faithful. A true treasure.
I have had to search for true kindred spirits and authentic community over the years. The truth is, we must all minister to a wide variety of people. Yet, I have purposefully sought to find friends who have the life of Christ bubbling up within them, in order to fill my own heart with wisdom from those who keep me seeking to pursue God in His holiness. Positive peer pressure, you might say!
Excellent women are hard to come by. The ones I’ve known who truly make a difference in my life, are dedicated to pursuing God no matter what, and their priorities show the investment they have made. With my closest friends, I understand that they have made their own commitment to walking with God, so when I am with them, I know I will be drawing from the investment they have made every day, for years on end. When I am with them, I will want to be better, my spirit will be filled with grace and wisdom just be being with them.They have become, even in friendship, what they practice living every day, and so I glean from their sharpened spirits. Iron sharpens iron.
Making it a habit to spend time with the Lord on a regular basis, to walk obediently in service to Him, to study and follow Him, knowing His ways--these are just a few of their commitments. Many of these women had extremely difficult backgrounds and had to learn scripture and truth by pursuing it very intentionally and purposefully. By following the Lord through studying and obeying His word, they became beautiful reflections of Christ! It’s a question of priority: who will you spend the most time with? Pay the most attention to? Whose voice will you tune your ear to hear? Whose words will be held nearest to your heart?
How can you become a "go-to" friend?
Proverbs is filled with wisdom about having strong and good relationships!
A gentle answer turns away wrath.
A friend loves at all times.
Where there are many words conflict is unavoidable.
Other scripture gives great friendship advice:
Love covers a multitude of sin.
Let your conversation be seasoned, as it were, with salt so you may add grace to the hearer.
Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Love is patient, love it kind, it does not seek its own.
Determine that you will read the word of God every day, because this is the place you will find instruction for every area of living.
Then, you must decide that you will be mature, patient, long-suffering, loving another as you want to be loved.
Remember, Jesus said, the two most important commandments are to love God, but then love our neighbor.
So, choose to believe in and trust Him every day, in every circumstance, because that is the way to please Him--but it is also the path of strong relationships. Pray for His guidance and live knowing His presence goes with you.
It is the engaged, loving heart--the one that hungers to know and live for God, by practicing following His model of unconditional love--that will become a heart that others may draw from. There is nothing else to replace it--no cleverness or self-strength or rules or formula that can replace the palpable life that comes from living day by day, holding on to God's hand, and thus becoming a well-spring from which others can draw.
Do you want your children to draw from the Life that is bubbling over from your heart, mind, words, and attitudes? Then you must spend day after day with the Word of Life who will give you the true source of wisdom and love you long for. Even as a house is built one brick at a time and yet has the potential of becoming a mansion, so a wise woman builds her house--one brick at time--into a home of spirituality that comes from spending so much time with Him, the greatest friend of all.
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:11
Take a moment to complete the reflection and application below:
• "He who walks with wise men will be wise ...” As you consider your current set of friends, are most of them of the encouraging sort--not just encouraging you as far as compliments, but encouraging your growth in the Lord? How might you build more relationships of that type?
• “ ... But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Prov. 13:20 What about the flip side? Do you have friends whose choices and priorities could be considered foolish? We know the Lord wants us to reach out to all types of people. Yet when it comes to choosing close friends, we must take care. Are there relationships you may need to curtail if you are to grow as a godly woman?
• Apply these same parameters with your children’s friends. It would make a great topic of discussion!
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