A loaded word, isn’t it?
For some it may bring visions of lunch, laughter, and trips to the mall. For others, it may bring up a sense of nervousness or awkwardness. And yet for even more, it echoes of insecurity and hurt.
I think we’ve all been there. Me included. Different seasons of life have brought different friendships. I’ve had friends that have betrayed and friends that simply didn’t care about my personal well-being. Then there have been others that wouldn’t welcome nor invite me into their circle to even see if I’d be a good friend.
I know those situations pierce the heart and ache the soul because we are designed to desire relationship. When we desire it and open our hearts only to have them injured, our souls grieve.
Not the plan
I’m convicted that God never intended for friendship to represent pain.
He designed us for community and for relationship.
He wanted us to love well, bear one another’s burdens, and sharpen each other.
And He desired us to seek righteousness, pray, mourn, rejoice, and encourage one another.
It is possible.
Of course none of us are perfect, but meaningful God-centered friendships do exist. I know it because I have been blessed to have those in my life, too. Friends that give life and make it richer. That care, reaching into our messes to lend a hand. Friends that love for simply the sake of loving.
The friends that have gone the distance – the ones that enrich my life are those grounded in Christ. They grew and deepened over prayer, studying God’s Word, and serving side-by-side. Some began in other environments, but they deepened and became strong, true, and authentic when we planted ourselves and our friendship on Him.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with a precious friend. Jesus and the sharing of His hope was our common denominator in the formation of our friendship. Our life situations are different. She’s young and newly married. I’m not-so-young, married for a while, and refereeing 3 kids! But because Jesus is the fuel of our lives, we connected in a way that assures me this friendship will endure. It’s authentic. And it’s one that will encourage the best in me and give me hope.
We are designed for community. For relationship. But to make our friendships matter, we have to stop hiding behind walls. We need to get real and we need to get humble. We need to bring Jesus in front of our insecurities, our desire to be right, and our craving for control. When He is first and we surrender those fear-based needs and desires, our friendships become the kind He desires for us.
If your heart aches for meaningful friendships, let’s start with prayer. Let’s ask Jesus to do a work in us and in others to prepare us for friendships. And let’s ask Him to bring God-centered friendships into our lives.[bctt tweet=”Open your heart to friendship and start with this prayer #friendshipprayer” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Melanie Redd’s post really encouraged me this week. Seven Bible Verses to Give You Strength, encouraged me a great deal. This lady is a hope-giver! She shines brightly and friends, she does God-centered friendship so well because she grounds her heart in the love of God. As a matter of fact, her and Alison Tiemeyer are doing a month-long friendship challenge! It’s not too late to join them! These ladies are the real deal and will encourage and challenge you toward finding and keeping those meaningful God-centered friendships!
When you stop by her page, make sure to check out all her gorgeous Bible Verse images she included as a part of this post!
And, just so you know …
I’m so glad you’re here!