Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Do You Love Like This?

 

Friendship, Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 Ministries



"I'll never forget the time I met two women who had been friends for 60 years! I loved listening to their stories about school days, family vacations, and everything else these friends had done together.They talked about how they've made... their friendship a priority over the years. When they were young they'd all get together for a meal while the kids played. Today they have a date to play cards once a week. They’re both widows now, and count on each other for companionship. If one of them is down, they call the other and say, "I need to get out of the house." They’re there for each other.My friend Aimy was with me and we talked about how different our generation is. We get so busy and we don’t tend to spend as much time together. We both decided to start getting intentional with our friendships and friendships we have with other families - like planning to get together once a month for dinner and games. The reality is… lifelong friendships don't just happen. We've got to take time to build them.” — Renee SwopeFrom today’s P31 Radio Show, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee” — a production of Proverbs 31 MinistriesSee More





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This came into my Facebook feed this morning. It's so profound and it kicked off some thoughts on friendship that have been rolling around in my heart and mind for quite a while now. Friendship is not easy. It's actually tough.....once you get past the acquaintance part and begin to bump into each other's sinfulness. I have yet to experience a perfect friendship and I have yet to meet someone who will tell you that I am the perfect friend. So, how do you "do friendship" for over sixty years like these women?They must have loved unconditionally. They must have shown each other grace, time and time again. They must have been careful not to judge each other's responses/reactions and embraced the uniqueness of personality. They must have embraced each other's differences. They must have been willing to work through anything that might threaten the foundation of their friendship. They must have worked with the differences in their wiring, instead of fighting because of it. They must have spoken kindly of each other even when there were disagreements or misunderstanding. They must have been good listeners and they must have studied each other's personality and communication

styles for that kind of friendship to transcend so many decades.How far are you willing to go....in unconditional love for your friends?




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A Biblical View of Friendship


These verses all work together and to sum it all up in short, biblical friendship might look something like this: True friendship is committed to love....unconditionally. Rebukes are sometimes necessary and a rebuke should always be given in honesty with love and right motives. Be careful who you choose as a friend. Love is sacrificial. Love is selfless and builds others up. Love never brings up the past as an accusation because a true friend is trustworthy and loyal. If the past must be brought up, it should be done for the best interest of that friend with the right motive, not to take the spotlight off of yourself if you have been confronted about something you don't want to deal with. A true friend will be honest, because that friend loves and cares unconditionally. A true friend desires to help another grow and will accept honest rebuke from a friend. Iron sharpens iron. A true friend is committed and will walk through the good, the bad and the ugly in friendship. True friendship provides a safe haven for honesty and openness in communication. A true friend allows another to be real and candid without feeling threatened. To extend the true hand of friendship we must show ourselves friendly. We must provide a safe place for others to be real, open and honest with us. True friendship is not competitive. It seeks to build up another, not tear them down. It is not threatened by the talents of another, but rather, sees beauty in those talents even if the talents are shared by both.


If you have found a friend like this, you have found a treasure. This is the kind of friend I'm asking God to help me become. I want to see others through his eyes rather than through my own limited perception. I want to love others even when they aren't loveable and even when they are unkind, yet there is a balance and we are to guard our hearts. In other words, this is something I can't do on my own, but only through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in my life. This is why marriage is so wonderful. My husband and I are committed to each other. We made a covenant before God to love each other unconditionally and this means we work through the good, the bad and the ugly because we are committed to do just that.  My commitment to God is what gives me the drive to grow in my ability to love others. His love is perfect and His commitment is eternal. Allowing Him to define who I am also gives Him the ability to sand off the rough edges, dredge up the dirt in my heart and re-shape my heart to look more like His.



A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.




  • Proverbs 22:24-25


    Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,  or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.



  • Proverbs 27:5-6


    Better is open rebuke than hidden love.  Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.



  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


    Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!



  • John 15:12-15


    My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.



  • Proverbs 17:17


    A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.



  • Proverbs 13:20


    He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.



  • Proverbs 27:17


    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.



  • Proverbs 12:26


    A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.



  • James 4:4


    You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.



  • Job 29:4-6


    Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God's intimate friendship blessed my house,  when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,  when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.



  • Job 16:20-21


    My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;  on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.






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