A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been,
accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
Jesus placed great value on relationships.
We all need friends. Friendship is part of God’s plan for our lives. It is the catalyst and the foundation of all healthy relationships. In his book, “The Broken Heart,” Dr. James J. Lynch shows that lonely people live significantly shorter lives than the general population. In other words, God created us to need each other. We need friends and we need to be a friend.
Jesus placed great value on relationships. The Bible tells us that He spent much of His time deepening relationships with a few – not the crowds. His teachings are filled with practical suggestions on how to be a friend and how to have healthy relationships.
One of the most beautiful portraits of friendship is found in the lives of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was willing to risk her very future for the sake of her friendship with Naomi. Many women are convinced that the risk of having close friends outweighs the rewards, but what we discover in Ruth and Naomi’s friendship is that there is no love without risk. Every friendship must contain the element of risk if it is to grow and mature, reaching its full potential.
John 15:13 says it well.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
When we choose to lay down our life, we automatically take a chance on being hurt, rejected, betrayed or misunderstood. Friends will hurt you. Friends will wound you. It is wrong to assign the responsibility for our happiness to friends. In reality, depending on a friend to make us happy, sets that friend up for failure in the relationship and positions that friendship for inevitable destruction.
Naomi could have easily chosen the path of isolation.
What we are looking for is learning how to love like Christ loved, getting to the place in our relationships where love covers the cost. What we will discover in the friendship between Ruth and Naomi is that their relationship bears out the truth of 1 Peter 4:8:
“And above all things have fervent love for another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins”.
Naomi could have easily chosen the path of isolation, but her decision to invest in her friendship with Ruth was life-changing and their relationship bore much fruit. May your goal be to understand that God created you for relationship, and if you allow loving people in, He can use them to bring healing to the wounds of your past and bring you a bright hope for the future!
“To discover more about how Ruth and Naomi were victorious in relationships…