Seven Days with Seven Friends


What does biblical community with close friends look like, and how can you develop it?

Laughter, tears, long-running jokes, shared memories, arm-in-arm victories, whispered prayers, late-night discussions, good food, long walks, refreshment in the Word, and bearing one another’s deepest hurts–all ingredients that forge enduring bonds of friendship.

One of life’s sweetest rewards is the intimacy and joy experienced through the unique fellowship known only by those who abide in Christ. Koinonia. Iron sharpening iron kind of relationships. Hearts entwined by one-souled unity of the Spirit. Deeply loving, respecting, protecting, and nurturing relationships which provide a safe place for transparency and honest communication.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some “retreat time” with six dear friends, and one thing I brought back with me is a greater appreciation for long-term friendships. Some of us have walked side-by-side through seasons of bitter loss and deep grief. We’ve spoken truth to each other, interceded in prayer, held late-night vigils on the phone, and carried one another’s burdens for years. Godly friendships provide stability when encountering the white-water rapids of life.

Whenever I spend time with these women, I always leave with a greater appreciation for all they’ve taught me. Holly’s served as a friend and example for years, leading me into a deeper understanding of grace; demonstrating steadfast perseverance while under pressure. Mary Ann is a model to me of a woman who chooses her words wisely; refraining from expressing every thought that enters her head! Through the years God has used Carolyn to share Scripture verses that have applied personally to my life (she also was the first person to show me what a blog is!). Jennifer has been precious to my heart, ever since our first encounter at the cafeteria when she was a seminary student. She’s exemplified faithfulness as a friend and prayer warrior. Mary blesses us all with her intellect, keen insight, and ability to address critical issues in a Christ-exalting manner.

And finally, Nancy. Only the Father knows how valuable her friendship has been to me. I am eternally grateful for the volume of truth she’s poured into my life throughout the years. She has truly been a faithful friend.

Although we live scattered across the continent, and vary in ages, marital status, and seasons of life, we are united by our passionate pursuit of Christ and desire to live for His glory. Hearts bound together through the sorrows and joys of spiritual battle.

I often hear from women who desire friendships that go deep and last long. For what it’s worth, I have a few thoughts on ingredients which are helpful in cultivating this kind of relationship:

  • A listening ear
  • An open heart
  • Tenderness
  • Confidentiality
  • Loyalty
  • Humility
  • Sensitivity to the Spirit
  • Devotion
  • A sense of humor (especially a willingness to laugh at yourself)
  • Grace for “life interruptions”
  • A heart that forgives quickly and frequently
  • Letting go of things that don’t really matter while holding on to things that do
  • Patience
  • Forgetting the worst and remembering the best
  • Humbly confronting when necessary
  • Speaking truth in love–always
  • Serving as a faithful encourager
  • Taking time to cultivate a long history together
  • Commitment to prayerful intercession

If you are longing for this kind of friendship, don’t wait for someone to befriend you; take the first step by asking God to lead you to someone who needs a friend. Be this kind of friend (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16-18).

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