CS Lewis wrote. “Is there any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” Over the years I am learning the truth of that statement, as it is something that is burning inside me to have and to develop. I have realized that I desire a deeper friendship with fellow Christians. Not because I want to be exclusionary to non Christians… but I am finding that the more I hang out with Christians the deeper rooted my own faith is. There is no greater memories that I have right now, than sitting around a table with my Christian friends… hysterically laughing, with tears streaming down our faces.
But there is even more than that. As a mom, for many years, I was searching for the play dates. The mom that I enjoyed hanging out with, and our kids enjoyed spending time together. I often left my husband out of the equation, because these play dates were while he was at work. These were my friends. He had his own. Yet, now, I realize that one day my kids are going to move out of this house. My world will not revolve around them. I want to have friends that my husband and I both like spending time with, so that long after the kids have left the nest… we are not sitting home alone on a Saturday night trying to entertain each other.
God also wants us to surround ourselves with good Christian friends.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
I want to have friends who have wisdom… as moms, wives, and sisters in Christ. I want to get advice from those who share the same morals and values I do. For they will not lead my astray from what God desires. I have a good friend, and her husband travels a lot for work. One of the things I have learned from her is that when he is home, family time is super important. She won’t make plans if it causes her to not be with the family during his short break home. I want my family to realize that they are that important to me.
Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Too often I have allowed myself to get into that verbal tit for tat about the negative things in this life. Perhaps it is a complaint session about husbands; or a venting session about kids, parenting or school. While I may have started out our time together in a good mood, I would find that by the time I left … I was in a very bad mood. I was angry at my husband. I was angry at my kids. I was angry at the world. In some cases, the person I was with was poking at the fire to get it hotter. It brought me no good. Or, that person was so argumentative that my thoughts would completely be encompassed. In a recent situation my husband flat out told me that he didn’t want to hear me complain about that person any longer. He didn’t even understand why we were friends. That created some self examination on my part.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
I need someone in my life that encourages me in the difficult moments. That helps me to be a better person and better Christian. I can only do this by surrounding myself with those who can fit this purpose. My non Christian friends have rarely helped me in my personal walk.
Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.
I have gone through some tough times this past year and a half. It was during this difficulty I saw who my real friends were. The ones checking in to see how not only my husband was doing during his healing, but also how I was doing. The people who wouldn’t take no for an answer & were dropping off food to lighten my load. The friend who inadvertently was audience to my meltdown and not only forgave me for it… but reminded me that it was ok. The ones who drop cards in the mail, texted me and have just simply been there.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
As I have realized that I not only want & NEED more Christian friends… I have also realized that in order to have them… I also need to be a good friend. I need to do for others the very things I would want done for me. I need to always be willing to go above and beyond for them. I need to put in the effort, the same or more, as they do.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” CS Lewis
Man was not meant to be alone. We were made for community. We were called to be together. In worship and in living our lives.
*Written for the TC3 Women’s Ministry Devotion Blog