Verse of the Day

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."

~Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

Today's Devotional Thought

April 07, 2015 by Rachel Piferi


Godly Friendships

Recently, my daughter turned 11 years old. And to celebrate her birthday, I took her and her 3 best friends out to dinner. And to say I had a blast is a gross understatement. You see, I love women's ministry and relationships and just watching as females interact and support each other. In fact, back in the day when I was a researcher, I studied relationships. My research focus was on social relationships and how individuals give and take in relationships and ultimately support each other through life.

So to me, taking a group of 4 pre-teen girl best friends out for the evening is great fun and is like a little women's ministry and a little research all wrapped into one pasta-filled night!

As I listened to them talk about the current relationship drama going on in their circle of friends and as I offered some advice when the conversation turned to boys and who liked who, I just mused at how well they supported one another. As the conversation morphed from one topic to the next, there was such grace and support and honesty displayed among the four of them. And, I was quite impressed at the way they navigated their friendship.

After I put my daughter to bed for the night, I sat up and started writing down some of the things that impressed me about the way they treated each other. Some truths about friendship, if you will, that emerged as I watched them interact with each other. And, I reflected on some of the important things I have learned in friendship and relationships over the years. Combined with some key Biblical principles, I came up with a list of 20 things I would like my daughters to always remember when it comes to friendship. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. Rather, it is just a list of things that I thought of that I would love both of my daughters to remember as they continue navigating the world of friendship...

1. First, female friendships are so important in life. Women get other women. Our husbands are wonderful, but there are just some things in life that only our female friends will get. Cherish your friendships.

2. Pray daily for each other. Even if she doesn't ask for prayer, pray for her. There is nothing more powerful and more precious you can do for a friend than talk to Jesus about her.

3. If you meet someone who makes you laugh till you can't breathe, hold on to her. There are some seasons of life that just need side-splitting, tears streaming, silly laughter with your BFF.

4. No matter how old you get, take time to savor fun in your friendships. Take road trips. Try on ridiculous shoes. Roll down the windows in the car and sing as loud as you can. Life gets really serious and it is important to have friends who know how to have fun.

5. Lavish grace on each other. Life is too hard not to cover each other in grace.

6. Apologize when you make mistakes. And, you will make mistakes. No one is perfect and when you have a bad moment, a bad day, or a bad season, apologize for it. A true friend will forgive you.

7. Forgive when your friends apologize. In fact, forgive even when they don't ask for it. No one is perfect and your friend will make mistakes. You need forgiveness and so does she. Lavish it.

8. Memorize Scripture together. There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Depend on it together. Hide it in your heart together. Speak it to each other. Pray it over each other. Memorize it so you can have it on hand any time you need to swing your Sword for her.

9. Realize that some seasons you will be giving a lot. And some seasons you will be taking a lot. Give when she needs it and when she is able, she will give back. Seasons change and good friendships endure through the ups and downs of the changing seasons.

10. Mourn when she mourns. And rejoice when she rejoices. There is nothing more precious than carrying someone else's burden of grief or celebrating their victories. True friendship can do both (Romans 12:15).

11. Know her heart even when her words or her actions may fail her. And make sure you share your heart as well. Knowing the purity of each other's hearts will help when life gets messy.

12. Believe in her and tell her you believe in her {especially when she doesn't believe in herself}.

13. Remind her often of the enormous plans and purposes the Lord has for her. Plans we can't fully see or even fully comprehend. Plans that are beyond what we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

14. Be loyal. Be trustworthy. Do not ever betray her confidence or gossip about her to others. Do. Not. Ever. (Proverbs 20:19).

15. Always strive to give more than you take. Ask her how she is doing before you talk about yourself. The blessings that flow from caring about others more than yourself are beyond description.

16. Love Jesus more than you love anything else in this world. If you love Jesus, you will love others well and you will be a wonderful friend.

17. Know when to just sit lovingly & quietly beside her and when to offer advice or encouragement. And when you don't know, ask the Holy Spirit. He will guide you.

18. Truly good friends help you see that all things are possible (Mark 9:23). Find those friends. Be that friend.

19. Remember that your life, your talents, your callings are not always going to look like hers. Nor should they. You are two uniquely and beautifully created people. Celebrate how each of you are wonderfully & purposefully made (Psalms 139:14).

20. The best friend you will have in life always wants you to be all that you can be in Jesus Christ. She believes in you. Pushes you. Holds you accountable. And is used by God to sharpen you. It doesn't always feel good. But it always feels like love. Accept it. Grow in it. Cherish it. (Proverbs 27:17).

And one last one...God has placed people in your life for a very important purpose. Live that purpose. Cherish them. And remember to bless others more than you look to be blessed. Always have courage and share courage. And always be kind.

Memorize this verse today:

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."
~Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

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