Who are you spending a lot of your time with? Are your closest friends pointing you to Jesus? Or do they somehow direct you away from the Saviour? Do you find yourself getting closer to God through your close friendships? Or are you catching yourself struggling to make good choices? Close relationships that distract your spiritual journey will likely lead to bondage. This is the cost of ungodly relationships.
When Relationships Change
I had a very close friend for several years. In the beginning, the friendship was good. But over the years the relationship started to change. Many times, I’d find myself sitting with my husband in tears because of something this friend said or did. Several times I had thought to just end the friendship. But I didn’t have the heart to sever ties and hurt her deeply. The friendship continued and our values kept getting further and further apart, including what was acceptable in marriage and what wasn’t.
God has a plan for my marriage but it was my choice whether or not I was going to obey Him and follow His ways. It was the same for my friend. It had gotten to the point where if I didn’t do the things she was doing, I was ‘less than’. Or the intimacy in my marriage was boring. That’s how I felt.
She and her husband began making unwise choices for their marriage. There was always that pressure to follow along. There was just so much about the relationship that was not good. It wasn’t just this issue, but it was the catalyst for me to invite God to intervene.
I began to pray that if this friendship was not what God wanted for my life, that He would find a way to end it. It didn’t take long for Him to answer that prayer. Late August 2012, my friend and her husband disclosed to my husband and me something they had done. It was something that grieved my heart deeply. I knew it wasn’t something God wanted for their marriage. But they took it very lightly. It wasn’t a big deal to them. And they wanted us to join them the next time, which we felt very uncomfortable about and said we weren’t interested. Enter the feelings of me being ‘less than’ and prudish.
A few weeks later, there was a disagreement and she abruptly ended the friendship via email, with one sentence. I was heartbroken. But I realized that the real reason she ended the friendship was because she felt my disapproval of what she and her husband had done.
While the quick ending hurt me deeply, I knew it was for the best. I felt relief. I didn’t have to feel that pressure anymore. I no longer felt ashamed of who I was. I wasn’t constantly being reminded of the times I had messed up.
The Pursuit Of Godly Relationships
I was constantly being pressured to participate in things that were unholy. And while I really didn’t want to, I knew all too well the consequences of not going along with her. I was in bondage because of this friendship. There wasn’t godly freedom.
Any friendship that encourages participation in sin of any kind is not God-honouring.
Any friendship that influences your opinions or morals in a negative way is not God-honouring.
You know this kind friend because you begin to hate yourself when they are around. They always seem to find the problem with you, and they have no reservations of reminding you of your faults and the wrong things you’ve done.
This is not what God wants for us.
His Plan For Relationships
Do you have a friend like that? Someone who offers scripture verses for comfort and encouragement? Someone who prays with you and for you? Someone who listens to your heart? Knows your heart?
Someone with whom you can entrust your heart to? Someone you can trust to tell you the truth in love, without judgement or condemnation?
Better yet…are you that kind of friend?
Friends like that are so hard to find. I know. But before we can ask God for that kind of friend and that kind of relationship in our lives, we must be that kind of friend first. Yes, we will still be hurt by those we thought were our friends. We might be told by someone you thought was your friend that they actually aren’t your friend – boy, when those words are spoken, the heart is devastated and crushed. It is almost impossible to recover from.
Can I say a prayer for you about this? If you are struggling in this area? If your heart has been ripped out and trampled upon? By ungodly relationships? I know it can be hard to trust again. But, dear sister, He longs to restore and redeem. I also know that for sure.
You long for us to be in unity, to love each other as Christ has loved us. That was His prayer before He was betrayed – for us to love each other so much that it would make the unbelievers KNOW to whom we belong. I pray this for your daughters right now, that we will all be so overflowing with your amazing Love that it spills forth onto broken hearts.
And for those of us who have experienced tremendous heartache in the name of friendship – I pray that we will have the courage to love again, to entrust our hearts to others again. I ask that you will bring these people into our lives and into our hearts. I pray that we will be wise whom we yoke ourselves with and that our relationships will be honouring to You.
Above all, may You be glorified and exalted through our relationships.
In Your Holy name, Jesus,
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