What’s the most important relationship in your life outside of your relationship with God?
If you were suddenly hit with that question- what would your answer be? Close your eyes, and really think about that question for a moment.
Many of you might default to the romantic relationship in your life- your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or fiance. Others of you might think of your parents, siblings, and family members. All these relationships are really important and meaningful in our existence as human beings.
But beyond these important relationships, there are three other relationships that are just as crucial for the believer in Christ. These three relationships are often discussed in the Bible- even more often than romantic relationships or family, but tend to be downplayed in our life as Christians:
#1 Person You Need in Your Life: A Friend
I often wish making friends was as easy as it was in 5th grade. I remember passing a note down the aisle to a girl named Monica. Inside the note, written in big purple letters, “Will you be my best friend- circle YES or NO. I added a piece of candy just to sweeten the deal. Sure enough, she said yes, and we were best friends for the next decade.
As you grow older and enter adulthood, you realize making friends isn’t always that easy– in fact, sometimes it can even feel as complicated, confusing, and painful as dating. You find yourself wondering if they like you as much as you like them…or even if they like you at all. You worry that you are giving too much, and wonder if they will give back. You find yourself protecting your heart, and struggling to let your guard down. Friendships are risky, and at times they are down-right dangerous for our hearts. Because the end result is never guaranteed. We can spend our entire lives protecting our hearts…or we can spend our lives investing our hearts. I am beyond convinced that God calls us to do the latter.
As I’m maturing in my faith I’ve realized that friendship isn’t just an optional luxury- it’s a calling that we have as believers. It’s God’s instrument of sanctifying and refining us. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that we are invited into friendships because they are God’s way of sharpening us and making us into better people. Authentic friendship is not only about connecting with others, it’s about becoming stronger, wiser, holier, and more like Jesus within the daily grind of these majorly significant relationships. True friendship will help us become the person God has called us to be. When we distance ourselves from people, preventing them from entering into our lives- we are missing out on a huge piece of what it means to be a believer. God has chosen for us to be involved in these significant relationships.
One of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis explains the supernatural calling of friendship this way:
“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.”
As you take inventory of this very important relationship that God has called you to, remember that building authentic friendship requires three things: Identifying who you’ve been called to, Investing in other’s lives, and Inviting them into yours. Take a look at your life and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Which friends have I chosen to invest in? Which friends can I be authentic with- sharing both my struggles and my joys? Which friends have accepted me for who I am?
2. Which friends do I see have chosen to invest in me? Which friends are being deliberate to call back, invite, serve, and invest in my life?
3. In this particular stage of life, who are the people that God may be calling me to invest in more? How can I take these friendships to a deeper level? What has prevented me from connecting with others the way that I should?
Stay tuned for the next post to learn about Person #2 of the Person #3 of the 3 People You Need in Your Life!
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!
For additional resources check out: 10 Reasons Why You Need People, Why Marriage Isn’t Enough: The Relationship We ALL Need,