Foundation of a Friend

I’m entering in to new terrain by starting this blog.  Though I spend quite a bit of time each week creating Bible study lessons and devotional material, I have yet to actually journal.  For several reasons it seems like archiving, so to speak, the thoughts I have of what God is teaching and showing me, would be worthwhile.  Even if it’s just for me.

So I’ll just start with thoughts from today’s sermon. We are in 1 Samuel and looked at the friendship between David and Jonathan.  Of course, having two boys bearing those names I love the loyal bond between them and pray my own sons have that type of friendship.

I typically don’t analyze the mechanics of friendship.  I am blessed with some amazing Christian women in my life and typically don’t struggle in the friend area.  But in thinking on the three aspects of friendship that Pete brought out, I see clearly why it is some friends are so close even if they are far away.  And other friends drift in and out of life more seamlessly.

Here are the three elements of friendship we looked at…loyalty, safety and unity.

Loyalty – This is commitment. The kind of unconditional love that is not going anywhere.  NYC Pastor Tim Keller talks about relationships in terms of consumerism and covenant.  Do you look to your friendships with a consumer mentality? Putting in only what you get out… if I get a better offer, I’ll ditch this person and move on.

Today we see this once business-type relationship in all other relationships.  Marriages end in divorce when our spouse doesn’t give us what we want or make us happy so we move on to someone who does.  Or a friend dumps us because she can find more popularity with another group.  This is not covenant.  Covenant is binding.  It is what God made with Abraham and was promised to all his children.  It creates safety.

Safety – Are you safe? Can you say hard things and know you won’t be deserted?  If I am afraid of what you might think about me then I will not share intimately.  If I worry you might gossip about me or share something said in confidence, it is not a safe friendship.  And if we can’t share deeply and feel safe then the relationship will only stay at a certain surface level.

Now both loyalty and safety are areas that can be developed and grow in a friendship, but unity, not so much.

Unity- a shared passion, commonality.  We are traveling the same road.  Friendships develop when you spend time together at work, in a hobby or on the same team.  But what happens if you change jobs, switch hobbies or the season ends and that commonality isn’t there anymore?  To me if this unity isn’t in Christ then friendships will naturally wane.  But for those friends who find Life in Jesus, who desire to glorify Him, seek to forsake “idols”, discuss and deal with sin, encourage one another, those are the friends that remain.

By God’s grace I will be that type of friend, starting with my husband and family!

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18 thoughts on “Foundation of a Friend

  1. Kristen, our friendship embodies all three of these things: loyalty, safety and unity. I am so blessed to have you in my life to always point me to the cross. Even though we live far apart, our shared love for Christ binds us together forever. I am so excited to read your blog and see what God wants to teach me through you! I love you!

    • Thanks, Carey! And yes all three are in YOU. I’m humbled by the thought of my words teaching you, when your Caring Bridge page ministers so much to me! Even when I forget to respond and tell you that, it does. Pete and I both (and my mom, too) are always excited to see what you have to say. Praying for these last chemo rounds!!

    • Beth! It’s good to hear from you! I’m glad God used these words to your benefit today. I’m excited to finally start putting some of my thoughts to “paper”; and now realizing a way to connect with old friends too!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! It’s amazing how God works in our lives. We were just discussing some of these friendship elements this weekend. I’m looking forward to future blog posts! Thanks for being such a great friend who”s genuine, honest, and caring.

  3. Hi Kristen. Really enjoyed this and love the idea. So happy you let people know you were blogging. I will follow. xoxo. Happy Holidays.

  4. Kristen, so glad to see you blogging! It’s an interesting concept of which you speak: a covenantal friendship. I struggle with that word as I wonder how humans can create their own covenants since a covenant is binding from God. We as humans fail in all areas, especially when we think we have the power to create a covenant. But I do agree with your concept wholeheartedly. Definitely something to explore. I look forward to reading your posts and hear your wise, informative perspectives! Hope all is well!!! Merry Christmas – xo

    • Holly, good to hear from you. I love seeing the occasional pics of your family on FB.
      Thanks for your thoughts regarding covenant. This has been a topic of conversation lately between me and Pete because a couple wanting him to marry them didn’t want to use vows because they knew they would break them, and therefore not keep covenant perfectly. Which is true we will break them, God is the only true covenant keeper. A few more thoughts on it…
      Covenant making we see throughout the Bible between humans, not just God and man. And in history we see covenants made between nations.
      Today besides the covenant of marriage, I would say the parent/child relationship qualifies- though we fail, it is still a promise that is intended to provide safety and trust. As for friendship though its not officially a covenant I think we should have the same mindset of seeking the good of another over our own needs. Showing love and sacrifice even when we don’t feel like it, as opposed to the “consumer” mentality where we just bail when there is conflict or the relationship is asking more than you want to give. Basically the idea of committing to stick by someone, even though we WILL fail each other. Which takes us back to our need for a Savior and the grace and forgiveness we receive from Him and can then extent to others.
      I would recommend Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage, (in particular chapter 3) to explore the topic more.
      Hope my rambling made sense!

      • Hey Kristen. I won’t take your time although I was appreciative of your thoughtful response (it was not “rambling” as you eluded). We differ in our definition of covenant. And I disagree that marriage is one since the only biblical reference is one specifically referencing Malachi. But I look forward to reading your future perspectives and am so glad you are sharing them via your blog. And thank you for the book suggestion, too. Take care!

  5. Pingback: How A True Friend May Differ From Who We Call “BFF” | house of hatton

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