Purpose

Friends Are Friends Forever…or are they?

One of my favorite verses growing up was Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.” As a small child I was encouraged by the this type of loyalty. At summer camp, we sang the famous Michael W. Smith words “Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them…” I had high hopes for friendships.

However, as an adolescent and young adult, I was discouraged to find this type of friendship is rarely the case. More often than not we are friends when it is convenient or mutually beneficial; but when the friendship fire begins to die, most of us tend to let it fizzle out rather than stoke it.

This simple truth is why the past couple of days has meant so much to me. My longtime childhood friend of over 30 years is in town visiting me. It has been such a fun week having her here in Nashville with my family.

If you were to meet us you may wonder how we are friends. We had completely different interests in high school, except for the Huskers, of course. {smile} We look very different, we respond to life differently, and we haven’t lived in the same state since 2000. But one thing that has bonded us for life is our love for Jesus and each other.

We have walked through the best and worst of times with each other. And we have failed each other at times. We have some great memories and memories we’ve tried to forget.

Just last night as we were discussing our friendship, and I told her that our friendship prepared me for marriage. I learned to love someone no matter what. I learned to cherish our differences rather than let them divide us. I learned to respect someone even when we disagreed. I learned to love through the thick and thin.

I think we often treat our spouse like we do our friends. In the world today we tend to run when the love begins to fade. Because we’ve never practiced loving someone at all times in our friendships, we have a difficult time practicing this discipline in marriage.

Whether you are single or married, you can practice the discipline of loving at all times. It’s not always easy, but it is Biblical. And the rewards you will reap, are truly worth the effort you put in.

I challenge you today to begin making a conscious effort to love your friends, family, and spouse {present or future} AT ALL TIMES.

Let’s celebrate our friendships today! I’d love to hear stories about your longtime friends. Click on “leave a comment” to share your story.

10 comments on “Friends Are Friends Forever…or are they?

  1. Juan Portela

    One of the most simultaneously beautiful and painful things in my own experience has been discovering the unexpected surprise of who stuck around after I made a complete jerk of myself. The list of friends who remained loving and loyal “at all times” dwindled from hundreds to a couple dozen, and although painful, it was a massive blessing and has made me more choosy about throwing around my trust.

    The Chief of sticking around is God, and when I relearned how to put Him first, I relearned how to treat people myself, loving THEM at all times according to the grace I have been shown. The LORD is good, what a Teacher, what a Friend!!

  2. Barbara Chambers

    Faith, I love this about friendship.You are so right. Friendships are seldom forever. I have found that I have a large amount of acquaintances and very few real friends. I am thankful for those I do have. Had a visit last week from one of those friends that I had not seen in years. We have known one another since the age of six. We fell in love with Jesus at the same time,we were baptized on the same day. I am sixty years old this year so this friend ship is very special to me.These relationships do have to be tended like a precious flower garden. I thry to do this with all of them and I know at times I do fall short. I will try to do better. Thank you sweet woman of faith for reminding me this morning. God Bless you and your sweet family today!
    Much Love,
    Barb

  3. speakinginfaith

    Thanks for sharing, Juan. What a hard and yet valuable lesson to learn.

  4. speakinginfaith

    I’m glad you were encouraged 🙂

  5. Home run, Bullseye! A relationship as this is a treasured gift far more valuable than diamonds, rubies or gold!
    Beth

  6. speakinginfaith

    Agreed:)

  7. Faith,

    I would have to agree that ‘loving at all times’ is not the easiest of imperatives to obey. Hurt feelings can oft times stand in the way of true fellowship. I have only recently been reminded of the blessing that forgiveness can be to our friendships.

    We hear that it’s best to forgive AND forget the offenses we incur from time to time. A good working definition for forgiveness that is helping me is, not allowing the offense of the past to influence my present decisions. Each new day, God offers a brand new beginning! He’s forgiven me, I must forgive others.

    The other half of the equation that is next to impossible, outside of God’s intervention, is the forgetting part. He gave us good minds, that when running normal, function very well! So when I remember an offense that I’ve already forgiven, I will use that to remind me of His grace that was and continually is being poured out for me!

    You are a good iron sharpener, Faith!! I am challenged and encouraged by the things that you share!

    In Him,
    Linda

  8. Melissa Shuman

    I have know Kelly Pratt (yes the same one you know) for 30 years also. I know i can call her whenever i need her, be it to vent, or just check up on her! I love knowing that no matter where we are, i can think of her and our crazy, fun, sad, scary, times, and know that she knows me about as well as i know myself. So even when time, and distance seperates us, i know that she is no further than an email or phone call away! I love her! and I love you too, Faith! Glad to have called you a friend for these 25+ years!

  9. speakinginfaith

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa! Glad you are still in touch with Kelly. Please tell her ‘hi’ for me!! And I’m glad I’m still in touch with you!!

  10. speakinginfaith

    Great word, Linda!! Thanks for sharing this!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: