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Developing Godly Friendships

Mar 22, 2008
When my husband and I rededicated our lives to the Lord fourteen years ago, a strange thing happened. We stopped going to bars. I quit smoking. We got our swearing under control. Because the Holy Spirit was now living on the inside of us, the non-God-honoring things we did before didn't appeal to us anymore.

Something else happened that stung a little: the friends we hung around with suddenly viewed us as "boring." As a result, they started calling less frequently. When we did get together, we found we our friends didn't want to hear about church or what God was doing in our lives just as we didn't want to listen to the details about the last party they attended or about their current love affairs.

Eventually, my husband and I came to the conclusion that we needed new friends to go along with our new lives as Christians.

The Bible is very clear on the issue of friendships. The book of Proverbs is filled with advice on which types of people we should connect with. Proverbs 24:1 warns not to desire a wicked man's company. Proverbs 13:20 advises that "he who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm." I don't know about you, but I want to grow wise and not get hurt!

Of course, our main focus on earth is to reach out to non-Christians with the love of Jesus Christ (John 17:23). But when it comes to those we develop close, lasting relationships with, we are to choose carefully and with wisdom.

Here are the three steps my husband and I took to achieve our goal of meeting other Christian couples. God met us halfway and blessed us with many wonderful friends, including two of the closest, dearest friends we've had throughout the course of our twenty year marriage.

1. Pray for Friendships to Develop

We were very specific in our prayers. Hebrews 4:16 tells us to go boldly before the Lord. Don't be afraid to let God know you want to meet another couple with the same wacky sense of humor you have. Ask God to put couples in your path whose children are the same age as yours. Since we know what the Bible says about us having Christian friends, you're praying according to His will. So don't be surprised when you begin meeting couples with the qualities you've been praying for (1 John 5:14, 15). Be assured that God longs to give you the desires of your hearts! (Psalm 37:4)

2. Look For Opportunities to Meet Other Couples

Although God will be faithful to provide ways for you to meet other Christian couples, chances are that most of those opportunities will not just fall into your lap. Just as you can't drive to a certain destination until you put the car in gear, God can't steer you in the right direction until you begin to move.

Look around you. Church ministries are an excellent way to meet other Christian couples while serving God at the same time. Become a church greeter. Join the choir. Volunteer to work in the nursery.

Realize that you will have to make some sort of an effort. But once you do make the first move, God will be faithful to do the rest!

3. Get Involved in a Couples Group at Your Church

My husband and I met our very best friends at an organized church group called, 4 x 4. Each group included four couples (arranged by the church according to age and location) who met four times per school year for food, fun, and fellowship.

If your church doesn't have a group geared towards married couples, why not see about starting one?

Godly friendships are ones that bring fun, encouragement and spiritual accountability to our lives. Set examples for your non-believing friends. Reach out to them and love them. But save your close, personal relationships for those who have the same beliefs, values, and goals you have. Above all, when those friendships do develop, cherish them. Close friendships, designed by God, are definitely ones to be treasured.
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