God has so much to say in His Word about friendship, relationships, and how we are to treat each other. In fact, there is such a plethora of material that I plan to spend each of the next five Fridays talking about friendship in the Bible. It's almost like a series-within-a-series, as it turns out!
Today I wanted to begin with a few things I've found in God's Word that make a good friendship. First is unity. Without some sort of unity, there is no relationship. If you stop for a moment and think about friends you have now, or have had before, I would suppose that there are at least a few commonalities between you: movies, books, children the same age, grew up on the same cul-de-sac, roomed in the same dorm in college, sang in the church choir together...you get the idea. Being together as friends means there is unity.
Why is there unity, apart from things we share in common? Well, I think part of it is certainly a sense of mutual respect, or maybe even adoration--at the very least, there is some sort of affection. But really, it's about love. We love our friends.
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17, NIV)
How do we keep this unity and love going? Well, let's examine what the apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians:
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3, NLT)
Friendship with true unity means we have to be humble, gentle, patient, allow for each other's faults, binding with each other in peace, and of course, LOVE. The love part should help us with the gentleness and allowing for each other's faults part.
I believe if there is a real friendship in place, there is unity that causes the friends to "stick together" and be loyal to one another.
Proverbs 18:24 says,
There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Unity, love, and loyalty. Three important ingredients in a good solid friendship.
To read the introductory post for this #write31days series, click here.