The Importance of Godly Friendships
Woohoo!! This is the beginning of our fourth year here!! I know it seems kind of silly to be so excited, but this is the year we didn’t get when my husband was active duty in the Marine Corps. This was the year we had to start all over and find our community again. At the end of year three, we had to say goodbye to everything and everyone we had grown to love, only to start all over in a new place.
Plugging into a church and finding our Christian community was always at the top of our list as we grew to realize how important those Godly relationships were. As I look back through my 26 years of being married to an active-duty Marine, I am ever so thankful for the wonderful people God put into our lives.
God created us to be relational beings. We need others. We need people who are living in the same stage we are. We need those younger than us who we can pour into, and we need those who are older, who we can look to for wisdom and guidance. We were created to have people, (Genesis 2:18) but who we choose to connect with matters, who our children connect with matters!
The relationships we make often parallels our walk with God. When I am walking along side of someone who challenges me to grow in faith and holds me accountable, I strive to do just that. However, when I am living my life around friends not walking with Christ, I have found it is easy to start to slip away from a daily walk with God. II Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
This passage is often used to refer to marriages, but anytime we are walking closely in a relationship with someone we are yoked together in some way or form. When we yoke ourselves to a person living for the world and not Christ, we are placing ourselves in a position where we are being bombarded with worldly influence. This doesn’t mean we need to live separate from unbelievers. We should absolutely have relationships with them as well so we can love them and point them toward Christ, but we can’t yoke ourselves together with them. Our closest friends, those friends who we allow to speak into our lives, need to be fellow believers. Scripture is clear that worldly influence is real and reminds us to keep our focus on things that are not on this earth. (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Colossians 3:2, Romans 8:5-6)
When we put ourselves around the wrong people, it is so easy to compromise little things in our lives. It’s easy to let ourselves get sucked into a gossipy story when we are around those who gossip. It’s easy to have a negative attitude when those around us are negative. It’s easy to have more worries and fears when we are continually hearing fears from those around us. It doesn’t mean our friends have to live perfect lives by any means, but we should be close to people who are actively living for Christ and will listen to Godly counsel. Likewise, we should be actively living for Christ and willing to accept Godly counsel in our own lives.
Our children also need to be surrounded by people of Godly influence. I have watched my children make some poor choices because they wanted to fit in with a specific group or a person. Although we can’t make friends for our children, we should be praying daily for those who are in their lives, and we should place our children in environments where they have a chance to make Godly friends.
We are living in some difficult times to be a kid. Our kids are growing up and figuring out who they are in a society that is giving them free reign to live however they want. A society cheering them on to live for themselves and whatever makes them feel good. How do we combat this as parents? One of the best ways we can combat it is by surrounding our kids with a Godly influence as much as possible. No matter how we school our children – public school, private school, or homeschool – we need to find our children a Christian community where they can grow in their relationship with God and see others growing in God as well. As parents, we make a huge difference in our children’s lives, but their friends and other mentors will also have a great deal of influence. If we do not have our kids in activities where they can be surrounded by people of Christian influence, we are giving them no one outside of us that can pour God’s goodness into them.
God created us for community! We are warned not to neglect meeting together as Christians but should be encouraging one another in our faith and loving each other. (Hebrews 10:24-25) There are so many online churches and sermons that make it tempting to stay at home and “do church.” Although it might be necessary if we are physically unable to attend, and it’s wonderful it’s available, we need to make sure we aren’t neglecting to be with other believers. If you haven’t found Christians to walk this Christian life with, look for ways to get plugged in more at church. Find a Bible study group, join a ministry team, ask someone at church to join you at the Waffle House or just for coffee, or reach out to one of our wonderful Mentor Moms. We all need other Christians – our little ones, our elementary age, our preteens, our teenagers, our grown kids, our spouses, all of us! Don’t let yourself live this Christian life alone.
Let’s talk about it……
- When you are away from the body of Christ, in what ways do you find yourself struggling the most?
- Do you have Godly friends in your life? What difference do you find they make?
- Are we making sure our children have Godly influences in their lives?