When I think about my friendships and how many true friends I have, I am quite surprised. Sure, I have a lot of people I know, talk to and even hang out with from time to time. However, if I really look at each friendship, I can only say that I have about 5 good friends and only two of them I would trust completely.
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? – Proverbs 20:6 (NLT)
There are many types of friendships
- fair weather friends
- social friends
- work /colleagues
- church (you only really see them at church functions/services)
- secondary (friends of friends or wives of spouse friends)
- Online friends
- Old and new
- True Blue (trustworthy and loyal)
I am sure if I sit here long enough I can come up with more. However, I think this shows enough diversity to make my point.
In life we will have many types of friendships, and we need to be very wise in the way we deal with each of them. You would not want to open your heart and hand out your trust to just anyone. Choosing friends is something we must take seriously. Friendships can be downright unhealthy and affect our healthy relationships…and our walk with the Lord.
We need to learn which of our friends fall into which category.
Fair weather friends will only stick with you in the good times. Whenever you have a problem or even a hint of a struggle, they are nowhere to be found, or at the very least, far too busy or broke to help you out! Do not allow yourself to get too close to this type of person. It will only cause you pain and disappointment.
Acquaintances are those we only see at church, work or occasional events. They do not come to our home. It is usually a very minimal relationship.
Social friends are those we only see at fun events and functions. They can be women we go out and have fun with and do things with. We usually have fun with them, however, it usually remains at a distance. The danger with this, is if we open up too much at one of these events. We do not really know this person and our only experience is fun and eventful times. We need to be careful. Who knows what their true self is like??
Secondary friendships are another type to watch out for. These are friends of friends, wives of your husband’s friends, etc.
Online friendships are tricky. To be perfectly honest, when I first started Online, I would have said no way. However, I have actually found one of my very best friends on the Internet…Heather. She is an awesome woman who loves God and will be 100% straight up with me. We have prayed, cried, laughed and even had a couple fights! LOL! However, this friendship is one that is unique and has been going on for a few years. We talk on the phone, and have built trust over the years. My advice with Online friends would be to be very very careful and allow time to build and see what happens. Do not ever assume you know someone just because of their posts, tweets or emails. Pray always about every type of friendship.
Old friends can be both good and bad. Sure, they know you and trust has been built. However, sometimes, they “know” you too well and will never take you seriously. They can also be unhealthy if they are so old and long term that you are not free to be completely transparent and grow together.
New friends are awesome. Yet, they are new, so, we need to keep our guard up until we have time to properly discern what place they should have in our lives.
Unhealthy relationships are those that bring us down, offer advice that does not line up with the Word, cause us stress, eat away at our lives, affect our family in a negative way. There are a few women in my life that fall into this category. They are extremely self absorbed, and any unsolicited advice they offer is always lined with feministic undertones, and never grounded in the Word. I am very careful what I share and keep them at arms length. Unsaved people can also fall into this category. We need to befriend the lost, however, we need to be careful how close we get. Otherwise, we can find them to be the influencer instead of us!
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray. – Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)
It is OK to keep some friendships at arms length…and even eliminate friendships from our lives. I firmly believe that we can love others from a distance. I do not think God intends us to allow harmful, unreliable and negative people into our “inner circle”.
Lastly, I want to talk about true blue friends. These are friends that have all the qualities you need for a healthy relationship.
Characteristics of healthy friendships
- trustworthy and loyal
- keep your secrets
- do not gossip
- care about your feelings
- call you
- spend time with you
- respect you and your choices even if you have different views
- understand boundaries
- have a positive influence on your marriage and other friendships
- they offer advice grounded in the WORD not the world
- They will tell you like it is even if it is not what you want to hear…no honey dripping compliments please! LOL
Hard to find??
I have spent most of my life searching for just one. It got to a point where God took all my friendships away and I only had Him and my husband (who by the way should be your best friend after Daddy God).
Then, when I let it go, he slowly began to bring many different types of friendships back into my life. He has taught me many things through each of them. Today, besides my husband, I have two true blue girlfriends. They are fabulous women and very different from me. They are also honest with me, and do not tell me what I want to hear but what I SHOULD hear!
Open rebuke is better than love that is hidden. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful. – Proverbs 27:5-6 (amplified)
Daddy God, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that yet again it has every thing I need. I am amazed at all the goodness I find in Your Word. Help me to apply what I learn. Help me to be wise and use discernment when choosing my friendships. Help me to never allow a person…or anything else to influence me away from Your Will. I love You, Lord and I need You in every area of my life. Thank You for Your love, guidance and help in my life. In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.
I have included several verses about friendship that I encourage you to read. This is a subject that is more important than you may realize! Be careful who you allow to influence you and speak into your life! Pray about all of your relationships and allow God to help you choose them.
- 1 Samuel (read through this book and see the friendship of David and Jonathan. Awesome)
- John 15:13–15
- Proverbs 18:24
- Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
- Proverbs 22:24–25
- Job 2:11
- Proverbs 27:9
- Proverbs 27:17
- Ruth 1:16-17
- Proverbs 16:28
Memorize: A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17 (amplified)
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