He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious,
will have the king as his friend.
This was an article I wrote for a young ladies online newsletter in August. It is written specifically for the audience of other girls, but I thought I'd share it here as well. And, in doing so, I have no intention of diminishing the value of friendships I have with the young men in my life, for I value those friendships just as highly. And in more ways than one this article could also describe the Biblical model for friendships with anyone. The people in my life and the close friends I have made have indeed been godly friends to me, and I am grateful for them all.
May the Lord bless you all, my friends. :)
Friendships with sisters in the Lord can bring great joy and encouragement to us. I have had few close friends growing up, but during my late teens, I formed some very special relationships with other girls. Not all of them lasted, unfortunately, but even though some were temporary, both those and the ones that have endured have always blessed me in some way.
One of the things I have most enjoyed and appreciated in my friendships with young women is the closeness that we share in the Lord. The solid foundation that bonds believers together has only strengthened our friendships. We are able to encourage one in Christ as we share trials and joys. I find it difficult to open up and share with certain types of people, but the young ladies who have remained close friends know how to create a safe environment for me to share. I appreciate them so much for this. They also encourage me in my walk with the Lord by listening and gently rebuking when the Lord directs them to do so. They have learned that A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).
These young ladies have been faithful ambassadors of Christ in their interactions with me, and provided refreshing direction when the way was clouded for me. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters (Proverbs 25:13). Another way they encourage me most is by taking the time to talk with me. Several friends and I communicate online because of the vast distance between us, but technology has been a blessing to us, as it has provided a means for us to use the written word to keep up with each other’s hearts and lives.
There are several principles that I believe must be in place for friendships to exist, not only with girls, but with any other person. However, in light of communicating with our sisters in Christ, here are some of the more applicable points.
Friends talk freely with one another. This does not mean we have the liberty to gossip, but rather it means there shouldn’t be sin hindering our communication with one another. Talking should provide a means for encouraging one another in the truth, and sharing from the heart about how God is working in your life. Talking also provides a way for each young lady to talk through deep issues and to learn to trust one another.
Friends also should be loyal, not forsaking one another, but loving each other in the Lord. We all will face disappointments, trials, and confusing situations in our journey through life, but this should only draw us closer to one another. A friend loves at all times. A friend loves enough to rebuke when you’re sinning, but also loves enough to weep when you weep and rejoice when you rejoice. Loyalty is shown in words and actions, and it’s necessary to demonstrate love, loyalty, and sacrifice in order to keep a friendship strong.
Friendships must be maintained over time. Life’s activities, busyness, and general responsibilities often make us shove aside other people so that we can “get it all done”. It will take work, perseverance, and determination to seek out time and set it aside in order to maintain the relationship. Just getting together or chatting online might take effort in setting aside time, but it will be worth it in the long run. When you enter Heaven one day, you won’t be standing beside the list of things you accomplished or the degree you earned or the money you made. No, you’ll be standing beside fellow believers, sisters in Christ, and praising the Lord with them. Take the time to invest in the young ladies around you so that you can encourage them to pursue greater Christlikeness.
There is great encouragement in finding like-minded young ladies to walk along life’s pathway with you. They will encourage you, support you, strengthen you, rebuke you, and laugh and cry with you. But you must also reach out to them in the same way in order for the relationship to deepen and grow. Thank the Lord for the girls in your life who point you to Christ and share a bond in the Lord that can stand the test of time.
“It is a mercy to have a faithful friend that loveth you entirely
to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs.
And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul
and to stir you up in the grace of God.”
~ Richard Baxter
“Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.
Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial
had they not found a friend.”
~ Charles H. Spurgeon