Through the years, I’ve had many women share with me that they’re not sure how to be friends. Either they had all brothers and didn’t learn how to relate to women, they’ve had women they trusted betray their confidence, or their friends were part of a life and bad habits before Christ. Regardless of the reason, many women in the church crave godly friendship, but don’t know what that looks like. I recently talked on this subject at our women’s retreat and thought I’d share it with you here over the next few weeks.
We’ve all heard the term “toxic friend.” More importantly, we’ve probably all experienced one. A toxic friend sows discord and insecurity. After spending time with one, you feel small, worthless, and second guess yourself and your choices. A godly friend sows the opposite.
Godly friends build each other up, not tear each other down.
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV
The word edify originates from house building. What a beautiful image. Each time you comfort or encourage a friend, you build her taller. Each kind word or act is a brick; brick upon brick, word upon word, you raise her up. Women in our society are bent under the weight of insecurity and anxiety. It’s our job, as friends, to strengthen and prop each other up.
“Kind words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” Prov 16:24 KJV
Our words go a long way to encourage a person, but edification doesn’t stop with words. Each woman has her own unique way of showing love. One may use words, but another may give gifts. Recently, Beth went through a storm of health and personal issues. Her friend Jane washed and folded all of that family’s laundry. While life was tearing Beth down, Jane’s humble act of service built her up. At the end of the day, encouragement shows the other person she’s worthy and valuable. And that is one goal of godly friendship, to show others their value in Christ.