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Building True Friendships


By Marilyn Pritchard

Do you have mud-pie friends? Friends who are willing to get down in the dirt with you, even when you are wallowing in hurt, self-pity, guilt, or shame?

That’s what true friendship is—knowing someone’s worst fears, faults and failures and loving her anyway; accepting someone for who she really is and not what she may pretend to be on the surface; speaking the truth in love when she needs to know her behavior isn’t lining up with her convictions and being willing to be called out when you’re the one with mud on your face.

God created us to be in relationship, and stories abound in Scripture of what true friendship looks like: Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17), David and Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:42), Paul and Barnabas (Acts 9:27). Even Jesus was closer to a few of His disciples, namely John (John 19:26) and Peter (John 21:15-17). None of these friendships was without problems, but they all outlasted the difficulties.

Job’s friends heard about his pain and came to comfort him (Job 2:11-13). When they saw him, unrecognizable because of the sores Satan had struck him with, they tore their clothes and sprinkled dust on their heads in empathy. They sat in the ash heap with him for seven days and nights without saying a word as he scraped at his skin with a shard of pottery. Sometimes the best way to show love is just to be with someone and not say a word.

We all need that kind of friend, and we need to be that kind of friend. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s impossible to build such deep relationships with a lot of people, but you should have a few close people in your life you can call your community.

In his book Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes about the importance of having a group of friends you can be real with, who can pray for each other, and be in community together:

“Going to church with hundreds of other people to sit and hear a sermon doesn’t ask much of you. It certainly will never expose you. ... [But] community will. It will reveal where you have yet to become holy, right at the very moment you are so keenly aware of how they have yet to become holy. It will bring you close and you will be seen and you will be known, and therein lies the power and therein lies the danger. … The Enemy hates this sort of thing; he knows how powerful it can be, for God and his kingdom. For our hearts.”


Are you longing for true friendship with other Christian women? Are you seeking deeper relationships where you can share your heart and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24)? Just Between Us (JBU) has put together some articles on the topic of friendship, and we hope they will help you develop your own community in Christ.



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