With that out of the way, let’s get started. Girl…you need friends. Sure, you are tough and could make it in this life all on your own, but let’s be real… having friends makes life so much more fun! Plus, God made you a relational being; he wants you to walk life’s path with others and to encourage one another. I want you to look at a few verses that address friendship with me today; they are written by Solomon and found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
A friend can lift you up when you fall, keep you warm when times get tough, and stand by your side as you protect each other. Those facts alone are great, but I want you to see two more important points in these verses today.
1. – “they have a good reward for their toil” – The “good reward” is the benefits of friendship, but to gain these benefits you must toil. You have to work at it. The first work that must be done is to gain good friendships. Have you ever been at this starting point in life? I sure have.
There have been times in my life where I have felt desperate for friendship (see my blog from four weeks ago, “I Know Lonely”). I had feelings of isolation and loneliness. I assumed everyone else had loads of friends and I was simply an odd ball. Ever felt that way? You are not alone; MANY women have experienced this in life. Maybe you are feeling this right now. So what do you do about it? Here is where the toil comes in…
Remember these three things: get out, open up and pray. Get out and meet others as much as you are able to. Attend Bible studies, church social events, and invite others into your home. Open up, be real and let others get to know you. I sat next to a woman at a mother’s club one time; the first thing she told me was that she was there to find good Christian friends. I loved her boldness! And she accomplished her goal. Don’t underestimate the power of being direct and courageous. Finally pray to God and let him hear your heart’s desire to find true blue friendship. He knows you need it and he will provide it at the right time.
2. – “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Where did this third cord come from? All the previous verses talked only about two people (two cords). Who is this third person? Well, who makes a friendship strong? God. Now, here is your warning, here comes some hard truth… no true friendship can exist outside of God. You cannot be a good friend to someone else if you have not received Christ yourself. The reverse is also true; someone cannot be a good friend to you unless they also have Christ. You can have many friends that are not Christians (and I do), but they cannot be good friends to you. A good friend has to tell you hard truths (no, you shouldn’t leave your husband because you don’t love him anymore). A good friend has to point you to Jesus when you are struggling (what does the Bible say about your situation, what would Jesus want you to do?). God must be woven throughout your friendship and, as always, he is the purpose of the relationship. Your friendship needs to honor him.
There is a strong bond between godly women who are friends, it’s called Sisterhood. It provides a deeper sense of love and understanding that only God can produce in us. It is a true blessing and I desire it for all women, including YOU. Take courage today, step out in faith and find your sisters in Christ!