Christ-Centered Friendships

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Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one (wo)man sharpens another.

From a very early age we are seeking friendship. If you don’t believe me, go spend some time in your church preschool classes or toddler nurseries. As young girls we are naturally forming bonds with other kids. We especially learn this in school, clubs, and church, and just because we grow up and get married doesn’t mean we are not still seeking connection and friendship with others. God created us as relational beings. He put the desire for friendship in our hearts. We all need female friends to help us navigate this world we live in and to give us a place to be ourselves and to help us grow. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and it can really wreak havoc on our relationships. The world tries to defile women’s friendships. God wants to only bring healing, growth and hope through them.

Webster defines friendship as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. God demonstrated a depth of intimacy in friendship when He spoke to Moses “face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). Jesus also illustrated that friendship has a deeper and more personal connection than other relationships. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). The gospel is the power of God that transforms our earthly friendships. It frees us to be the kind of friend people need. (1)

Friendships are healthiest when they are chosen by God, when we ask God to lead us to our friends and show us those that would add depth to our lives emotionally, spiritually, and socially. It is in the friendships where both people have a love and affection for Jesus Christ, that God can use that relationship for His glory and their benefit. Godly friendships seek to encourage each other in Christ and enjoy discussing Scripture and how it can be applied in our daily lives. My healthiest and deepest friendships have been the ones that were grounded in the Word and our connection to our Savior and God.
Ponder these C.S. Lewis quotes on Friendship. (2)

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”

We were not meant to do life alone. Scripture demonstrates the power in the intimate connections between people; Ruth and Naomi as well as Mary and Elizabeth are prime examples. Who is in your life that has added depth and godliness? Who in your life can you run to for wisdom and guidance as you face your daily struggles? Who can you pour your heart out to and not feel alone?

I am thankful for the friends in my life and the roles they play. How about you? Have you told them lately? Do you need to ask God to lead you to a friend like that? Stay tuned for some of the characteristics that make a relationship Christ Centered.

Lynne Jahns

Lynne Jahns is a Christian counselor and holds the honor of being the first Director of Barbara’s Place at America’s Keswick, a residential addiction recovery ministry for women. Lynne is married to Bill Jahns, who also serves on staff at America’s Keswick as the Director of Housekeeping. When not working and studying, Lynne loves to be outdoors and to travel. Family is very important to both Lynne and Bill and a lot of free time is spent with relatives and close family friends. Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Cedarville University in Ohio, a Master of Arts degree from The College of New Jersey in Community Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Louisiana Baptist University.

1. http://biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/blogs/2014/04/02/cultivating-gospel-centered-friendships/
2. http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-friendship-20-good-scripture-quotes/#ixzz3JLTl6jc3

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