“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” C. S. Lewis
I would have to answer that there are few things greater than a true friend. They are rare jewels indeed. I have made many friends in my short life. Some have come into my life but for a season, and others have endured with me. There is just something about a Christian friend. A person you can go to for godly council, confide in and laugh with. Friendship is something to be treasured. Yet, as women, it is often something that eludes us. We long for genuine relationships, but encounter human nature. Women often gossip about one another, lie and form exclusive cliques. I have seen people ostracize others even within the church. We were built as social creatures by the one true God. We were meant to live this Christian life together. We need to be a friend.
I think it is important to start our conversation on this off right. This blog is not about you. Well, not in the sense of what others should be doing for you. There is no doubt in my mind that you have been hurt by other women. I have. People I have called “friend” have broken my heart. They have let me down. People are human. They will do that. My prayer is that you find healing in forgiving those who have wronged you. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity.” Let forgiveness cleanse your heart. Don’t allow bitterness to take root and make you miserable (Heb. 12:15).
You cannot control others or their actions, but you can live for Christ every day. You can choose to make disciples and befriend others. One of the greatest examples of friendship in Scripture is between Ruth and Naomi. The famous passage reads, “But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do this to me, and even more, if anything but death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17). There is an immense loyalty to Naomi by Ruth, and Naomi certainly needed a friend. She had lost her husband and two sons to death. Her daughter-in-law, Orpah, returned to her family after the death of her husband, but Ruth, her other daughter-in-law, refused to leave Naomi’s side. She was not a friend of circumstance. She was a friend for life. This is the kind of friend we should be. Not changed by whatever comes, but faithful. Proverbs 17:17a says, “A friend loves at all times…” We need to love and invest in other women sacrificially.
We need to disciple other women. Whatever you know, you can teach someone else. We need to be women who pray, study our Bible, share the Gospel and show others how to do these things. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Heed these words from the book of wisdom. We need to surround ourselves with godly women, and if there are none, we still must choose to rise up and be a godly woman to others.
We must move beyond our own desires, and focus on the heart of Christ. Look around your church and community. Who is the woman God wants you to befriend and disciple? He wants to use you to break the cycle of gossip, cliques and self-centeredness. Be a friend that someone treasures who is filled with godly wisdom and love. Be the follower Christ wants you to be. And be blessed!