If an intimate friend were to describe you, would she use the word trustworthy? What would be the basis of her description . . . do you nurture security, love, service, limits, freedom, enjoyment, faith, and encouragement in your relationship? Do you challenge your friend to reach her full potential?1 If so, you have the foundation of being a trustworthy friend.
A brief journey through Scripture reveals the significant impact that trustworthy friends can make on your life. Friends, according to Scripture . . .
·refresh one another (Proverbs 11:25).
·greatly influence us (Proverbs 13:20).
·love you enough to share information you don’t want to hear in a way that you can accept it (Proverbs 16:21).
·refuse to entertain the words of a slanderer (Proverbs 16:28).
·are often more loyal than family members (Proverbs 18:24).
·help you to see where you fall short of doing God's will (Proverbs 27:6).
·offer wise counsel because their overriding motive is to seek your long-term good (Proverbs 27:9). Read More
What are the
similarities between roses and friendships? Your first thought may be
nothing—yet if you take the time to develop the idea a number of
resemblances surface. Just
as the beauty of the unfurling rose remains concealed until it is fully
open, so often the loveliness of a friendship remains undiscovered
until you create many memories. Since
you have a busy schedule, you will probably not experience the same
level of intimacy in each friendship you cultivate. Perhaps the visual
image of a budding rose will help you understand the various phases of
friendship and assist you in developing realistic friendship
PHASE ONE—THE GREEN BUD
As with the rose when it is wrapped in its green shroud, the knowledge of your friend is vague at Green Bud phase.
You know who the person is and perhaps some basic information about
her. Our wise heavenly Father brings a variety of temperaments together
to sharpen one another in friendships (Proverbs 27:17). Sometimes the
friends will be very similar; other times they will be very different.
Regardless of the temperaments of the ladies, the Green Bud phase
begins with respect for one another. Though one of the ladies will
probably need to initiate the relationship, the other can demonstrate
that she is available. Read More
Do you have weeds in your friendship
garden? Perhaps yes, perhaps no;
however, in the midst of our multi-tasking we can often overlook them until
they begin to dominate. Since female
companionship counters so many of the negative aspects of life, keeps you
healthy, and may even add years to your life, it is incredibly important to consistently
examine the garden and weed it, if necessary. This not only helps to modify our own “weedy” behavior but also allows
us to graciously assist our friends in understanding their destructive effects
on the relationship (Proverbs 27:17; 31:28-29).
most important element in the fight against weeds is to promote the best
environment possible for the growth of desirable plants. Improper watering or fertilization, soil
compaction, insect damage, disease, poor drainage, and improper sunlight are
all conditions that increase the potential for weed development.1 What is true of the care and maintenance of
gardens is equally true in the nurturing of your friendships; relational weeds in the Friendship Garden have the potential
of stunting or completely stopping growth. The book of John teaches that Read More