“Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” John 13:1
“True friendship involves two imperfect people who see each other’s shortcomings and love each other anyway.”
- Call your prayer partner for your 10-Minute Prayer Call. Keep trying to connect until you can pray together. What a blessing it is to have someone who cares and can pray with you! If you don’t have someone with whom to pray, ask God. He loves to provide advocates who will lift you up in prayer!
- It’s time to meet with Jesus! Gather everything you need for a lovely quiet time this morning.
- Read Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV), John 15:13-14, and John 13:1. Write the last half of John 13:1 in your journal, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Pray and ask God to speak to you about how to be a life-long friend, and how to love your friends until the end.
How To Stay Friends Forever
There are very few things in this life more significant and delightful than the love and acceptance of a true friend. Where would we be without our bosom buddies?
True friendship involves two imperfect people who see each other’s shortcomings and love each other anyway. Life-long friendships are one of the sweetest blessings in life. If friendship is so important, then why is it so hard to stay companions forever? I love how Samuel Butler puts it: “Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”
Plain and simple: as in a marriage, it takes work to stay together for life. Very few of us have the capacity in our busy lives for working at a life-long relationship, but I will tell you that it is worth every ounce of effort and will bring you lasting joy and refreshment all throughout your life.
There is a big part of me that wishes I could say I have kept every single friendship, but truth be told, I have not. There are situations in life where we all could have done better, or we simply grew apart because of the changing seasons. Thankfully, Jesus helps me to keep trying, and I am getting better with His help.
Recently, I decided to begin my friendships with the mindset of staying together forever, no matter what. I know drifting is a natural part of life, but I want to have an outlook that says, “We are going to stay friends forever.” This way of thinking encourages you to learn to accept one another and keep working on the relationship. It also helps to keep you from contemplating ending it when trouble comes and will help you to keep going and give grace.
That said, here are my thoughts on how to maintain life-long friendships:
- First of all, if you don’t have a friend pray and ask God for one. He is faithful to provide when we ask. (Matthew 7: 7)
- Pray for yourself and your friends. Ask God to help you be the best friend you can in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 6:18, John 15:5)
- Love unconditionally. Accept your friend’s shortcomings and limitations. Don’t expect her to be like you! (1 Peter 4:8)
- Think about their needs more than your own. Don’t be selfish. Show a genuine interest in the lives of your friends. (Romans 12:10)
- Be like Jesus; be an initiator. Don’t feel bad or hold a grudge because you always are the one who invites your friends or their children over. (Hebrews 12:2)
- Commit your phone and schedule to God. If you are not busy with a friend, take it as God organizing your day and giving you family or alone time. (Proverbs 16:3)
- Hold your friend with an open hand. Don’t make them feel guilty for being busy. Give grace and always be there for her, but don’t make her feel bad when she is having a stressful/ busy season. (Romans 12:10)
- Don’t always say what you are thinking. Guard your thoughts! Think true thoughts and give the negative ones to Jesus. (Philippians 4:8) (2 Corinthians 10:5) ( Proverbs 29:11, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 20:3)
- Speak highly of her husband. If you don’t like him, find something nice to think/ say about him. No one is perfect! (Titus 2:4)
- Encourage each other’s kids. Be the one who loves your friend’s kids well, throughout every season of their lives. The kids will never forget you! (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Don’t impose your parenting ideals on your friends. Let them walk with God, and trust them to parent the way God tells them. You do you! Let them do them! (1 Thessalonians 4:11) (Matthew 7:1)
- Remember, Satan hates your friendships AND your children’s friendships, especially the Christian ones. He will do what he can to bring division between you and your friends, and he loves to use our children to accomplish this purpose. Try to assume the best as much as possible. When tough times come, pray over your friendship and your children’s friendships and for God to protect them. (John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8)
- If you are upset with your friend, DON’T GOSSIP to other people. This only makes things worse. In fact, NEVER gossip. Don’t say something about someone that you can’t say in front of them. Don’t talk negatively about your friends or their family to your children. Gossip destroys friendships!! (Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 11:13, James 1:26)
- Forgive. Refuse to end a friendship over a disagreement. Involve other friends or a mediator so you can at least talk about what happened. Don’t fall for Satans tricks to get you to end a friendship instead of talking about what happened. Stay in the fight for your friendship! (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Try as hard as you can to stay friends. No matter what! May we all be like Jesus and love each other to the end! (John 13:1)
Questions to Ponder
- Write a list of your dearest friends and the qualities you love about each. If there is conflict, ask God to help you through it.
- Make an effort to get together with one of your special friends this week. Write her a note, bring her flowers or chocolate, and take a moment to tell her five things that you love most about her.
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If there was one thing Deb would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is dearly near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!