Faithful Friday: Friendship

22 November 2013

There are so many verses in the bible that talk about friendship but even as Christians we can have a hard time keeping friendships going. Friendship is the basis of all relationship - I for one can attest that my mother was my first friend, and part of the struggle in getting to know my father is building a friendship with him. Friendship is so important that even Jesus proclaimed himself as our friend (John 15:5). But as fun as friendship can be it is hard work too - friendships thrive on honesty, trust, and loyalty. Without those components a friendship is sure to fizzle out and I know that from first hand experience.



Let me take you back a bit, I started school when I was 3 years old. From that very moment I embarked on a search for friends. As far as I can remember which is really far, I did not have many friends at that age. It took about 3 more years before I actually made a friend, his name was Barry. As I recall I was not very nice to him and I could not understand for the life of me why he wanted to be my friend. He would sit by me at lunch, share his crayons, and even give me money. One time he came to school and gave me twenty dollars - might not seem like a lot now but for 6 year olds, 20 years ago that was a lot of money. There was also a time that Barry came to a birthday party that I was sharing with my mom's friend's daughter and son. Like I said Barry was the only friend that I had at the time so it meant a lot to me that he was there. Well the party was going great until the other kids' Dad got drunk and started being belligerent. He kicked Barry out of the bounce house because it was supposedly only time for the girls to jump but I didn't know anyone else so I got upset and I didn't like seeing Barry cry. At that very moment I realized how much I cared about him. I did not fully understand the bond that we created, we were friends. Fate does work too well on the side of 6 year olds so the next year for second grade Barry and I were in separate classes - as time went on I saw less and less of him. Eventually it seems as if Barry disappeared.



Over the years making friends was harder and harder for me as I grew and became different from what people would consider the norm. Kids told me that I talked like a "white girl" and that I listened to funny music. I felt alienated and did not know where to fit in. So I began a search for "good friends". People that would not call me cracker or oreo, people that would be nice to me like Barry was, someone to invite to my parties, share my secrets, and to eat lunch with. I needed "good friends". Eventually as I was introduced to extracurricular activities like dance, drama, and art I made tons of friends. Some of my most important friendships happened in high school and I still think about many of my old friends daily - I even dream about them every now and again. After a rocky time making friends in elementary and middle school I became a social butterfly in high school. At this magnet school so many of the kids were like me and didn't find me weird at all. Those high school friendships lasted 4-5 glorious years and then they came to a screeching halt.

Granted it's normal to grow apart and of course the dynamic of our friendships would change because I got married and went to college life was different. But I caused the friendships to fizzle by my lack of being honest. Not only was I dishonest with them but I was also dishonest with myself. Instead of facing the music I ran off like a coward to avoid giving them answers. When approached later about the things I had done I coldly changed subject and never took responsibility for the things I had done or the people I hurt. I told lies to my friends, many of these could have easily been forgiven but I never gave them the chance to forgive me. I was so worried about what people would think of me that I wanted them to see me as better than I felt I was. I didn't want my "good friends" to think I was flawed. I spent so much time seeking "good friends" that I forgot to be one. This was all more than 8 years ago and I could easily blame it being young, but instead of going that route I will say that I was ignorant instead. Ignorant about how friendships were supposed to work. Friendships thrive on honesty, loyalty, caring, and sharing in good times and bad.
There are “friends” who destroy each other,but a real friend sticks closer than a brother ~ Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)
I should have been closer to my friends and not let lies destroy the friendships we'd made. I should have sought forgiveness before the relationship were irreparably damaged. I should have been a "good friend". My days of making friends are surely not over, I have reconciled with all of my friends from high school. Though our friendships are not what they once were its because we are at different stages in our lives. In my current friendships I strive more to be an attentive, loyal, honest, and trustworthy friend. I pray for my friends and encourage them - I share the good and bad parts of my life with them. I am open and honest with them because genuine friendships cannot be based on lies. I've committed  to not being a fair weather friend by being a true friend during good and bad times. Ten years from now I want to look back on my friendships like I did today and I want to see friendships like David and Jonathan (1 Samuel) with me closely resembling Jonathan. Not only am I preparing to be a better friend to people I also seek to be a friend to Jesus. To allow him to take part in my life, to seek his opinions, to share with him, to be honest with him, and to seek his forgiveness. I am now focused on giving the gift of true friendship, I am now seeking to be a good friend.

What kind of friend are you? Is there anything you can do to be a better friend? Is there a person you know that needs your friendship? Tell me in the comments below.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Charity! It's funny how friendship does become harder as we get older. I was blessed with a great group of friends growing up, but became more of a loner in college and since I moved away from home. I realize now that friends are based on quality and not quantity though. Happy birthday to your fur baby! My dog's birthday is next week too :)

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  2. Great words! The thing I constantly remind myself is that I need to actually communicate with my friends. Sounds simple, but not for a huge introvert like me. I'm good on text messages, emails, and stuff like that, but actually picking up the phone and calling is scary! I try to tell my friends that I have that struggle and to stick with me! Work in progress!

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  3. Wonderful post!! Friendship is rough--I am lucky to have a few wonderful ladies in my life that truly build me up and encourage me. But it was a struggle to find genuine friends! (And happy birthday Sydni!! :)

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  4. Great post girl! Thanks for sharing about your childhood!! Let me just say I have been more than blessed by your friendship, so thank you!!!!

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  5. I've always struggled with friendships: high school was my best time, but the friends I made then have drifted away now. We're all so different now, and I think that's natural. Now, it's hard to invest the kind of time a real friendship needs, and I think I suffer from not having any real "deep" relationships outside my marriage. I totally identify with this post, through and through.

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  6. Happy Birthday, Sydni! (pink nails and all)

    You know, I think a lot of people always thought I had a bunch of friends. I know that "true" friends are hard to come by, but I was always the type that knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew me. I never considered myself popular because I wasn't; just known. I always floated from group to group, usually finding things I liked about people regardless of their own "crowd". As a student from elementary - college, that really felt like I was investing more into my friendships than they were investing into me when I needed it most. I've met many wonderful people who were friends to me to specific times in my life, but they haven't lasted. As a 30+ single, I'll admit that most of them are married with kids and that has made up grow apart (time issues really). Then as an adult, I've befriended many wonderful international teachers, but they have all moved back to their countries and haven't kept up. Sometimes I wonder if I'm to learn a greater lesson. Learning to walk alone. But right now, I could use a good friend. :-)

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