People often say that friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves.
It’s a wonderful gift to have friends in your life. The best thing about having friends is that they know and love you for who you are, flaws and all.
As a Christian, maintaining good relationships with friends can also be challenging and messy since they require a lot of work. Nevertheless, those who are close to us are the ones who get us through our darkest days.
When we find ourselves forgetting how valuable our friendships are to us, we can turn to God’s word for help.
Let's talk about what it means to be a friend and look at nine Bible verses about different types of friendships.
First off, let’s take a look at the definition of friend.
The official definition of a friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of physical intimacy or family relations.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a true friend: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You're my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant doesn't know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:13-15).
Throughout the Bible, friendship stories and advice on friendships are abundant. God’s word tells us that friends love us all the time, often give us tough love, sometimes are more loyal than family, and can impart wisdom when we need it most.
The example of a true friend that Jesus sets is His willingness to lay down His life for those He considers friends. Furthermore, anyone can be Jesus' friend by trusting in Him as their personal savior.
It’s also important that we create new friendships with people, even though sometimes it can be hard. That’s especially true as we get older. But friendship can bring us a new outlook on life. Also, it pleases God when His children lift each other up.
There are plenty of examples of friendships throughout the Bible. Some of which include:
Abraham and God: Abraham was God's friend, according to the Bible, and a relationship of mutual respect existed between them.
Abraham trusted in God completely to lead him where he was supposed to go. As soon as God spoke to Abraham, he obeyed. He obediently served God, but Romans 4 tells us that his salvation wasn't earned on work alone but by faith in God's promise to provide a Savior.
Jesus and Peter: There was a strong bond of friendship between Jesus and all the disciples, including Peter. All of them had different relationships with the Lord. While some of the disciples are obscure, there are others who Christ took an interest in.
It was Peter, a disciple of Jesus, who was prominent both during and after the life of the Messiah. Peter's mistakes are what caused him to become a more memorable figure in Jesus' life. And yet, despite Peter’s many mistakes, Jesus continually forgave him.
Ruth and Naomi: One great friendship in the Bible is the one between Naomi and Ruth. Naomi had a son that was Ruth's late spouse. Although the two were brought together by marriage, they also became dear friends. Ruth didn't want to lose her friend despite the death of her spouse. In their grief, they returned together to Israel, Naomi’s homeland.
Even though the bond that brought them together in the first place was severed, they stayed faithful to one another. When Naomi's relative married Ruth, their marriage brought both women peace and joy.
Friendships and the many challenges they bring are inevitable in life. Fortunately, Scripture has a lot to say about friendships and how we should approach them.
The following are friendship Bible verses that we can incorporate into our daily lives.
These verses warn us against choosing the wrong types of friends. No one wants a companion of fools.
At first, it can seem like we’re giving people kindness by being their friend. But if a person keeps letting us down, again and again, is that person truly a friend? Thinking about those who have no friends in the world is devastating.
When you have a friend by your side, it can feel like you can take on the world’s troubles together.
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Nothing cuts deeper than a disloyal friend. When we put trust in someone, we expect them to respect that trust. But sometimes, that’s not always the case. Not everyone can be a good friend.
You want a friend who has good morals.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28).
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there's a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Sometimes the end of a friendship can feel worse than a relationship breakup. But these verses can give us comfort in our grief.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
There is no greater friendship than our friendship with the Heavenly Father. He is our number one supporter and best friend. God wants us to love one another through Him. And no one wants to be an enemy of God.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (John 4:8).