“A [woman] that hath friends must shew [herself] friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a [sister].” —Proverbs 18:24
I’ve often struggled with my friendships. I don’t consider myself the best of friends at the best of times, and I know way too often I am demanding and unforgiving when I should be the opposite. I’ve often struggled with the question of how can I, as Christian young women, be a friend? Not just the kind that buys chocolate for my friends, or talks about the latest and greatest happenings—that’s only surface stuff. I like having things deeper than that. I don’t believe we can have real friendships if that’s all that is happening.
Proverbs 6:3 says, “Do this now, my [daughter], and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.” The “humble yourself” part of this verse could also be translated “submit yourself”. When you submit yourself, you are becoming open to criticism.
I’m sure you’ve seen somewhere a picture of a triangle with God at the top and a man and a woman at the bottom corners. It’s often used to help explain (in a rough way) how courtship and marriage are supposed to work (if I understood the object lesson wrong, then please tell me!). That triangle can also be applied to our friendships.
As we individually grow closer to God, we grow closer to each other. And our communication rises with us—closer to God. For the most part in my friendships, I have a hard time talking about God and what He’s been teaching me lately. It’s something I just don’t feel comfortable with…maybe it’s because I feel vulnerable.
That brings me to my final point: You are going to be vulnerable (and I’m talking to myself, as well as you!). If you are ever going to have a deep relationship with anyone, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. Exposed. Unguarded. And that’s really hard. But Jesus did it—I don’t think anyone has ever been more exposed for all the world to see than He!
While I haven’t given any real advice here, I’ll have to say—this is still a learning ground for me. I don’t have a magic trick for having friends or any how-to tips. I’m just praying I’ll be able to further bless, encourage, strengthen, and challenge those around me whom I am privileged to call friends. I hope you will be able to, as well.