Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Royal Council :: Friendship


Most girls today are very lax about who they allow to be close friends in their lives and those whom they allow to influence them. It's hard to know what kinds of people are true godly influences and those that aren't, and how do you know the difference? In this Royal Council post we would like to share with you things that have been on our heart about choosing our friends wisely. May it be a blessing to you as well as an encouragement as you live for the Lord!
~Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose~
{Due to Internet problems, Miss Johanna was not able to write a response for this months Royal Council but plans on being back very soon! In the mean time I have some guest responces that were originaly published in my former magazine Hearts for God so please enjoy those! ~Bethany}

Miss Bethany Ann ::
Lately I've been learning a lot on the true meaning of the importance of wisely choosing friends and companions. I always knew it was important, but once I saw the effects first-hand I realized just how important this subject is and how lightly it is glossed over now days. Michelle Duggar once said that her Grandma Duggar always told her this wise saying "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future". {Proverbs 12:26} It's true! Who we spend time with is what we will become. And if our main goal is to know the Lord as our number one best friend then this should be true. We can tell if it is true by how we act, because if we truly want to be like Jesus then we will spend time with Him and thus be like Him in our maners.

The Bible, especially the book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friendships and how they should be, as well as much on the greatest example of a good friend, Jesus! When thinking on the subject of friendships I believe that we first must realize and state that our number one best friend EVER should be the Lord. For He will never leave us and has proven His love for us by giving His own life for us on the cross. Now that is what only a  best friend would do! John 15:13 tells us that "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

But how do we know if this person is the right kind of friend or not? Sometimes its hard to determine that so I'd suggest asking your parents for their advice. Here are some questions to ask yourself about that friend to see if she is the right kind that will encourage you in your walk with Christ like all good friends!
  • Does this friend encourage me in my walk with the Lord?
  • Does this friend encourage me to keep secrets that aren't good? Does she keep good secrets? {Proverbs 11:13}
  • Does this friend regularly read her Bible, pray and memorize Scripture?
  • Does this friend gossip?
  • Does this friend use only good words to edify others or does she use filthy language?
  • Does this girl truly love the Lord? Could you tell by her everyday actions?
  • Does this friend encourage me to go against my parents will and do wrong things?
  • Is my friend always there for me when I need her? {Proverbs 17:17}
  • Does my friend try to encourage others in everything she does to glorify the Lord?
  • How doesn my friend respond to tough situations? {Proverbs 22:24-25}
This is also a good list of things to do as well as not to do in order to be a good friend! {Proverbs 27:17} Sometimes I'm so caught up in finding a good friend that I forget to be one myself! Its helpful to think of traits that I'd like in a friend and then apply them to my own life in order to be a good friend. Always remember to look to the Lord for a perfect emaple of a great friend!

Are you currently seeking a good friend and feeling left out since you don't have one? Then look to the Lord! He so dearly wants to be your closest friend and should be! "There is a firend that sticks closer than a brother." ~Proverbs 18:24 Look to Jesus and spend time with Him for He loves you!

So now towards the subject of being a good friend, how are we able to do this? I've often failed at being a true godly friend and have made mistakes like all people have. But the great thing is that a true friend will always forgive you when this happens and will encourage you to do what it right! The best kind of friend is one that is an encourager so here are some ideas on ways to be a great friend and be an encourager:
  • Send your friend a little gift every now and then reminding her that you are thinking about her!
  • Pray for your friend regulary. Ask for any specific prayer requests to make it personal.
  • Encourage your friend with Bible verses at the enof letters email, etc with appropriate verses that go with their current situation in life.
  • Always be there for your friend and let her know that if she ever needs anything to just ask!
Next month I plan on writing an article on encouraging pen-pals in detail so be looking for that!
May God bless you as you choose godly friends, make godly friends and be a godly friend!
Blessings,
Bethany Ann

A true friend shares freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all things  patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. ~William Penn


Miss Madilyn Gail ::
Friendship is a very beautiful thing; the love of a friend is very special. I don’t even know where to start. I have so many friends, and even though I have known some longer than others, I can’t choose a favorite, and I shouldn’t need to. God puts every friend on our lives for a reason, not so we can choose one alone. When God sent the animals into the ark, he did it two by two, we are not meant to live life alone. Your best friend should always be the Lord. God wants you to put him first in your life. “A friend loves at all times.”  Any true friend will always stand by you, and if you are a true friend, you will do the same. “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends.”  The Bible says to stand up for what’s right, stand up for your friends, help them through their struggle’s with the help of our Heavenly Father. If your friends see your loyalty, then they will put more of their trust into you. So go out there and help somebody, I challenge you, today, to do something nice for someone else. Many people talk of doing good, but then they never do it, like my friend says, live out loud!!! :D

- Madi

 {Originaly published in Bethany's former magazine Hearts for God in the Friendship issue}

 Miss Mary ::
Why is it such a big deal who we hang out with? You may wonder when your parents or some one you know tells you to be careful who you are with. Well, sisters, let me tell you that this is an important issue! It has been on my heart lately, as I have been learning more and more about how important it is that we are with the right group of friends!

First I want to say one thing: if we want good friends, we should first of all try to be good friends ourselves! Remember, we are princesses’, daughters of the King! Isn’t it exciting to think that God if our Father?! But it also means that people are watching our every action. As girls, we love to talk with our friends - but are the words we say edifying others, or bringing them down? Now I want to share with you something that has happened in my own life. I know a lot of unbelievers, and while they are sweet, kind people, I know that they are not the people I can be close friends with. Our friend’s influence who we become and we do not want to fallow in the worlds footsteps!

I was talking to these girls, who were not Christians, and I found that their conversations were not edifying to well - anyone. One girl complained about her parents, two other girls were gossiping about a girl at their school, and the other two were talking about a girl who had disobeyed her parents and started dating.

In contrast, a few days later at church I thought again about the conversation among the unbelievers as I listened to the other girls’ talking. We talked about God, we encouraged one another, and we talked over possible ministry opportunities, as well as having a lot of fun!

Which would you rather be? The people we are with share our thoughts, words, and actions. Would you rather be a gossip or encourager? Would you rather be with people who build you up and challenge you to grow closer to God, or be with people who are continually tearing others down?

Someone because you believe that it is not God’s will, it will always be better in the end!

I like to put it this way: the results will be bitter sweet. Maybe we will be lonely for a time, but God is always with us, and loneliness helps us grow closer to God. When we follow, we know he has a special reward for us in store. Thus, the bitter will not be wholly bitter - but the sweet will he wholly sweet!

~Mary

{Originaly published in Bethany's former magazine Hearts for God in the Friendship issue}

Miss Abigial ::Greetings everyone in the name of our Lord Jesus! I am going to write about friendship in this brief article and I hope it’ll be a blessing to all who read it.

Friendship - how cherished that word is! How we all long for true godly friends that will be with you in any situation or will help you with any need you have. It could be a phone call to ask for a loan or just a call to say hello just to let that friend know how much you care of them. Or it could be a short note to encourage your friend with Scriptures or a note to say you’re praying and thinking of them. There are so many things I’m thankful for with my friends. I have “met” many people who wish to be my friends but to say it honestly and as kindly as I can, they did not have the loyalty to be a true friend to me. I believe I am a loyal friend and I try to help my friends in any way I can when they are in need, whether it’s physical or spiritual. A friend to me is someone who is there when you need to talk and tell them all your problems and in return you listen to them as well. My friends are Christians which is such a blessing as well. I have received much spiritual encouragement from my friends which I have needed in times past.

All I wish to say is - be a loyal friend. If you can’t be a loyal friend then don’t try to be a friend at all. Loyal friends want loyal friends in return - not wishy-washy friends who are never there when they are in need. Our Lord is faithful to us, so let us follow His example in our lives and be faithful to our family and friends, not just sometimes, but always.

Lord, I do thank you for the few loyal godly friends I do have and I pray you’ll bless them. Please help other people that want to be loyal to their friends as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God bless everyone & remember to be faithful to your friends always!

A friend loveth at all times…Proverbs 17:17

Love in Jesus,
Abigail

{Originaly published in Bethany's former magazine Hearts for God in the Friendship issue}

Miss Havilah Worden ::
Most of us know people that we consider friends – but how many of them are true friends? Do you have a friend that “sticks closer than a brother” (see Proverbs 18:24b)? Are you that kind of friend to others?

Friendship is a gift and a responsibility. It is something we have to work on, and something we are able to reap from. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Friendship... means identity in thought and heart and spirit.”

True friendship is not an emotion, preference, or feeling. It is giving of oneself to another person. Friendship, in essence, is love.

God, as the Creator and Giver of friendship, set the perfect example of true friendship. In the Old Testament, it is said that God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. Moses is called the friend of God. (See Exodus 33:11.) God was like a Counselor or Confidante for Moses. He supported Moses and stood beside him. At times the children of Israel were angry with Moses, and several times they wanted to kill him. Even Moses’ own brother Aaron didn’t always support him. But God was always there for him, always standing by him, always encouraging him.

Through His relationship with Moses, God gave us an example of true friendship. And more importantly, He illustrated the personal relationship that He desires to have with us.

Usually when we think of friendship, we think of love. This makes perfect sense because true friendship cannot exist apart from love. But what exactly is love?

In his best-selling book My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote, “Love is the outpouring of one personality in fellowship with another personality.” This means spending time with those you love, but especially getting to know them and letting yourself be known to them. Nearly everyone has different sides or aspects to their personality. Your true friends will know your “other side”, and you will know theirs.

Fellowship is important, but true love and friendship go deeper. Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus demonstrated this love by giving His life on the cross. Now that’s true friendship! Just as Jesus selflessly laid down his life for His friends, a true friend will be willing to give her time, talents, abilities, possessions, dreams, and even her life for her friend. As Christians, we have that kind of Friend in Jesus. Are we willing to be that kind of friend to others?

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul defines and describes true love. This passage also seems to describe a true friend.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the 23 greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13.

{Originaly published in Bethany's former magazine Hearts for God in the Friendship issue}

4 Words of Grace:

~Amy Thomson~ said...

Wow...this post was really convicting, encouraging, and just...awesome! Thank you SO much for posting :)

Blessings,
Amy
{A new follower}
:)

Rachel said...

All too true! All of my friends are young ladies who find their heart in God. Although it would be nice to be a witness to a friend who wasn't a Christian, it is nice to have Godly influence in my life. Partly the reason why all of my friends are Christian is being home-schooled, and private-schooled! Thank you for sharing!

Sammie said...

This is a great post!!!
May it touch others as it did me!

Blessings
Sam

C.C.Shoshanah said...

This post is amazing. Miss Abigail's words touched me the most though. I am a very loyal kind of person, it's my nature. And most of my friends have been wishy washy; so I find it hard to make new friends because I'm scared that'll they'll just hurt me like the others. I know that they aren't malicious though, they just don't think about things the same way I do. Thank you for such a beautiful post though =)
xxxx