“Will you be my friend?” I asked as I went from house to house in my Northern California suburban neighborhood.
I wasn’t a shy 4th grader back then as I made my way around in the sweltering heat.
And I’m not shy now either, although I do not solicit friends in the same way. Today I might say, “Do you want to get coffee?”
But the message is the same: I like having friends and I want to be a good one too.
Studies done on friendships conclude that most, however, have a “core” group of close friends—those who know our dreams and motivations; those with whom we can bounce ideas off of; those who are also fun to be around. These core friendships can be counted on one hand. One hand!
God’s plan isn’t for us to travel through this life alone. His word tells us:
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother was born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
The Bible also provides examples of friendships. David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-3) and
Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17) are two examples.
And before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Bible tells us that Jesus wept. The onlookers noted, “See how much He loved him” (John 11:36).
Friendships are important. It’s equally important that we look for these traits when choosing or accepting a “core” friend. Core friends share these five traits:
Love of God. Your closest friends love God and live by biblical principles. When you need prayer, encouragement, or advice, your friend will seek God’s will for you. She will also hold you accountable to those Christian values and truths. She won’t “agree” out of fear she will hurt your feelings. You’ll often hear her say, “Let’s pray about this” and “Let’s look to God’s Word to see what He would have you do.”
Respect. Close friends respect opinions and embrace the differences.
Love. Core friends show love and kindness by:
Praying with and for her
Being her supporter and best cheerleader
Speaking well of her
Giving material gifts—homemade, cards or store-bought gifts.
Humility. Friendship is not a competition. Be willing to take second place and let your friend shine. Friendships have ended because of pride and jealousy. We may have a sweet, perfect friendship, but let’s remember that none one is perfect. When we make a mistake we seek forgiveness, or clarification, and understanding.
Loyalty. Relationships are “give and take.” There may be seasons where one is less able to “give” because of her circumstances. But there needs to be a balance in the long run. One person can’t always be giving and one person always receiving.
I have had many wonderful, godly woman in my life. Some have come for a season, and some are here for life. All gave me memories and most taught valuable lessons. Let’s thank God for our “core” friends and ask Him for strength and wisdom to be a real, fabulous, faithful friend in return. Hey, do you want to grab a cup of coffee?