How To Find More Godly Friends
I struggled with friendships throughout my entire childhood. I was very quiet, more than a little shy, and extremely lacking in the confidence that helps most people in this area. I remember meeting my very first friend in kindergarten, though, and it was a girl I sat with on the bus. (Side note: I never even rode the bus except for maybe three times.) Her name was Allyson, and the first time I ever met her was a year before that in a vacation bible school at a nearby church. Her dad was the pastor of the small church in my area, and I was so glad that I saw a familiar face that day, in a sea of unfamiliar ones on that big, scary bus.
Another friend I met right away in kindergarten was named Farrah, and she and I were closer than close. In my early elementary school years, my sister had a baby, and after three days, the baby died from a heart defect. During that time, I was at Farrah’s house a lot. As I’ve gotten older and started having my own children, I realize the closeness my mom and dad must have felt with Farrah’s parents, and how much they would have been in such close contact with them during those dark days.
Farrah and I used to love to dress alike. We would call each other every single night, and plan our outfits to wear the next day. We had several matching ones, and that was the greatest thing ever. Early eighties, much? Those were the good old days!
In my later elementary years and into middle school, my best friend was another Allison. She had a younger brother that I adored, and we would sometimes watch him while her parents went out for a date night. Later, when I would marry and start my own family, I named my oldest son after him. I have always loved the name Graham. In seventh grade, my parents decided to enroll me in a private school. I hated it at first, because everyone already knew each other, and here I was, once again, the loner.
A few girls were really sweet, though, and eased my transition into this new world of private school life, some of whom I am still in touch with today. I had more friends in high school, but those were not the best years for me, and I made some really bad decisions, and before I knew it, I was running with the wrong crowd. I’ll save all that for a later day, but once I turned my life around again and started walking more closely with the Lord, He has given me some real gems in this friendship area of my life.
I feel like all those lonely and hard years were years that He redeemed in my adulthood. I have definitely learned some things, and I thought I would share them with you.
I think the most important thing we can do is to pray about our friendships, or lack thereof. The Lord knew I needed and wanted godly women in my life, and He heard the cries of my heart. He knew that I was lonely, and He knew that I would walk through some valleys, and in order to be able to survive all of that, He gave me friends. Where did I meet these friends, you may wonder? At church. Which leads me to my second point.
Go to church. I’ll say that again. GO TO CHURCH! I know that nowhere in the bible does it say the words, “Go to church,” but try to find some good and genuinely godly women without attending worship services regularly without doing this. I’ll save you a lot of trouble: you will be hard pressed to find friendships like this without being faithful in church attendance. We don’t go just for this reason, we go to be encouraged and uplifted, and we go to sit under sound preaching.
Another way to grow close to someone is to serve in an area with women. I can’t tell you how many camps I was a counselor at, with other adult women, and how quickly we grew to be good friends. One huge benefit of serving outside of your church walls are the connections made with other like-minded women.
My third and final point is very clear and simple: be the kind of friend you want. Personally, I want the type of friends who are real. Life is too short to be anything but real and authentic. I also love what this passage says about friendships.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
I want to be the kind of friend who is champion to my other friends. I want to be their cheerleader, and I want to spur them on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). I want to encourage them, uplift them, and when the occasion calls for it, to speak the truth to them in love (Ephesians 4:15).
I also love this proverb about the types of friends we keep,
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Whoever we hang around with, we often times take on their traits. We tell our younger two sons this often. Bad company corrupts good character! That is taken straight out of 1 Corinthians 15:33. Whoever we hang around with will always be who we are associated with, and we need to very careful of this.
Be the kind of friend who talks to Jesus about you. That is the best kind of friend, in my humble opinion. If you are ever around someone who is known for being a gossip, and we all know that kind of person, chances are that person will gossip to others about you. Who we are with says a lot about us. I always pray and ask the Lord to bring at least one good friend to my sons. Even if that is all, one good friend is all we need, other than Jesus.
Lord, thank You for the gift of friendships. Even Jesus had wonderful friendships with His disciples, when He walked on this earth. Help us to be the kind of friend that we want, Lord. Help us to always put You first, and to love and encourage those You put into our lives. And help us to have friends who give You the honor You deserve, Lord. I thank You for the ones You have put into my life, and ask that You would do that for some of the sweet ladies who may be reading this. I ask this in Your strong name. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Goodwin is a wife, and mom to four (almost) grown sons. The Lord has called her to serving in several different ministries within her church home, some of which are bible study and leading younger women, and helping in the leading of worship on Sundays. During the week you can find her writing on her blog, Overflowing With Thanksgiving and encouraging others through her favorite social media outlet: Instagram. Follow along with her and be encouraged @jenlloydgoodwin.