3 Things Every Friendship Needs

Bench on the Isle of Arran

So, how many friends do you have? Can you count them on one hand? Two? Maybe you need a piece of paper to write them all down…

Hold it, Liz. What kind of friend? That’s really the question.

According to those in the know, most people can:

  • Maintain 150 casual friendships
  • Keep in contact with 50 good friends
  • Stay fully engaged with 15 close friends
  • Develop a deep bond with 5 intimate friends

Higher numbers than these, and our relationships grow shallow, superficial. Lots of smiling and “Hey, how you doing?” and not much else.

Real friends do real life together. You know each others’ stories and keep each others’ secrets. You say “I love you” and mean it. You’re there when the going gets tough. Even when you can’t take time, you make time.

If that’s the kind of friend you’d like to have—and the kind you’d like to be—the book of Proverbs gives us three ways to deepen our friendships.

"A friend's advice is sweet to the soul." Proverbs 27:9 ISV

1. Provide good and loving counsel.

Say you’re considering a job offer or struggling with a prodigal child. You’ll probably seek the advice of a close friend—in Hebrew, a “companion, fellow, neighbor.” You do so because you trust them. And because you know they genuinely care.

The pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Proverbs 27:9

That pleasantness, that “sweetness” (AMP) is like “a fragrant forest” (GW), as aromatic “as perfume and incense” (NLT). Any time a friend looks you in the eye or takes your hands, her show of compassion is “sweet to the soul” (DRA).

You can tell she’s really listening. Your situation matters to her. It’s clear she’s offering “earnest counsel” (ESV) and “honest advice” (NIrV), not just dishing out platitudes.

A friend always speaks from the heart. Even when the words might hurt.

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend;" Proverbs 27:6 ASV

2. Say the hard things.

Which is more difficult—hearing a hard truth or speaking it? I’ve done both, and I’m sure you have too. Either way, ouch.

Over the years, I’ve had friends gently but firmly point out my pride (thanks, dear Annie), my mistaken beliefs (bless you, Linda), and my blindness to my own sin (long list of people to thank here.)

Now the good news.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted. Proverbs 27:6

A friend offers such correction “out of love and concern” (AMP), right? Her words, however pointed, are “intended to help” (GW). We need to hear them, and who better to tell us? Plus, such wounds are only temporary. Our “bruises” (CEB) will heal, and the sting of that emotional “slap” (NCV) will quickly fade.

Meanwhile, your friend has proven she is “faithful” (ASV), someone you can “trust” (CEV). She’s also given you permission to correct her when needed. This is what real friends do for one another.

It’s not a judging thing. It’s a loving thing.

"A friend is always a friend." Proverbs 17:17 CEV

3. Love no matter what.

Yes, even if you don’t take her advice or heed her correction; even when you foolishly go forward (or backward or downward), a friend is still there for you.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

The true test of friendship. Not walking away when a friend does something stupid or embarrassing. Accepting each other as is. Loving each other “all the time” (EXB) and “through all kinds of weather” (MSG). Remaining “loyal” (NLT) to your friend “regardless of the situation” (VOICE).

This is what Jesus does for us, beloved. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). He proved His love for us when He “laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If we want to know how to be a better friend, Jesus shows us the way.

Lord, rather than simply counting my friends, I want to be fully accountable to them. To give and receive heartfelt advice. To speak and hear the hard things. To love my friends like You love us. Generously. Faithfully. Sacrificially.

The Gift of Friendship by Dawn Camp

Now, as promised, a lovely giveaway. Dawn Camp, one of my writing sisters at (in)courage, has a wonderful new book, The Gift of Friendship: Stories That Celebrate the Beauty of Shared Moments. I’m tickled to have one of my own stories included among the 52, which focus on pursuing friendship, what hospitality really means, developing friendships on purpose, and more.

A random drawing produced 5 happy winners for The Gift of Friendship: Patricia, Cindy, April, Glenda, and Crystal. Heartfelt thanks to all who left comments!

Your grateful sister, Liz
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P.S. Speaking of faithful friends, your thoughtful words and prayers regarding my surgeries truly blessed my soul. I’m happy to report that God has restored my health, renewed my strength, and recharged my batteries. Thanks to His mercy and your kindness, the girl’s still got it! Whew.

197 Responses to 3 Things Every Friendship Needs

  1. Dawn Smith March 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    My friend Becky was ‘there’ for me. She is gone now to be with the Lord, and I was ‘there’ for her.

    • Cathy March 4, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

      I love the it’s not a judging thing, it’s a loving thing. We all need to be loved and not just in the ways we think we need. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great book!

    • Sue March 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      This was a reminder of the importance of friendships, thank you!

    • Sherry wall March 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

      I am so blessed to have a few real friends. They love me even I am unlovable! They are always there for me through good and bad, and laughter and tears! Thanks for reminding me again how blessed that I am!! Be blessed!!

    • Kathy March 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

      I am so blessed to have two dear friends, close as sisters. Thank you for reminding me of the ways to nourish the blessings of these friendships.

    • Cindy March 5, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      My Best friend is almost perfect. Though , she lives in a different state she was with me durning my Dx of breast cancer and all the following treatments. She is a gift from God. Been friends since High School and I’m 60 now ?

    • Kayla March 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

      Liz – thank you for this post! I have been through an extremely difficult time in my life over the past few years. I had always had many acquaintance friends and several close friends and some extremely close. When I began the extremely difficult time I began to isolate myself and pull away from everything I knew. I did not nourish my friendships and yet, God provided a few very good friends who held on with me anyway. I am so thankful for them and ready to learn how to become a good friend in return again! Thank you again for your post!

    • Amy March 7, 2016 at 5:57 am #

      I opened this email and realized I wasn’t being the best friend to my husband I purported myself to be. I had been promising to clean the basement (a source of his allergies) for a long time, and had been putting it off.
      I promptly closed my laptop and went down to do the job. It felt great to actually be the best friend he so rightly deserves me to be; the Godly wife I should be.
      Thanks Liz!!

    • James Carroll March 16, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      Just started reading your blog. Really enjoy it! God Bless!

  2. Vicki Raddant March 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    Liz:

    Speaking of friends, you’ve been there for me and mine since we first began digging into the Bad Girls. My study group even bore that name. Thank you for showing us, through His word, what a blessing friendship is!!

  3. Lois Bringhurst March 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    God blesses us with friends. True friendship can survive time & space.
    I may not see some friends very often because of distance,
    but when you pick up the phone, its like you were together yesterday.

  4. Joy Bitler March 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    My very close and special friend, Diane went to be with Lord several years ago. Although I miss her, God has been faithful to give me Helen and Diane T. As new friends. Thank you, Jesus!

  5. Diane Neal March 4, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Liz, I don’t know where to begin to say how you have influenced me and didn’t even know it. I even used Bad Girls of the Bible years ago with my daughter’s Sunday School Class (they were 16 & 17 year old girls). Two of my closest friends have been by my side since 6th and 9th grade. We are all now 56 years old. We have weathered graduation, birth of children, divorces, loss of parents and yet we have never wavered in our friendships. None of the 3 of us have sisters so we are like sisters! Love Michelle and Dee!

  6. Tonya S March 4, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Reading this blog entry put a smile on my face because it is a reminder of the strong friendships God provided in each change of ministry.

  7. Candy Asbell March 4, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Learning that we are all not the same inside or outside is not as hard thing to grasp, but I have learned that there are times in life when you have weed your garden, and replace it with new seeds given to us by the Father. When we do this, it is not that we don’t love or understand that person, but the purposed for them being in our lives has been fulfilled. No all friends are “friends”. I’ve learned to chose them wisely, and surround my self with encouraging god filled sisters.
    I love getting your post. You rock Liz!

  8. Betty A Van Horn March 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

    I look forward to the email bible studies Liz! Stats at the beginning-interesting to ponder BUT praying specifically about deepening my friendships: did just now and will do in future. Thank you for the encouragement.

  9. Susie Dietsche March 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    Liz, thank you for being that kind of friend to all of us. We appreciate your sincerity and honesty, especially when it’s something that makes us grow closer to the Lord. (And even when it’s uncomfortable!) The Lord has belssed me with Ellen, the most wonderful Christian sister/friend. I also thank the Lord every day for my absolute best friend – my precious husband, Dave.

  10. Greta March 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    My best gal pal and I were just chatting this morning about our FORTY YEAR friendship. We have been through thick and thin together, and even though we live 3 hours apart now and have very different life circumstances, we’re still and always will be best buds. I’d love to gift her with a copy of this book!

  11. Jamie 3 March 4, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    I liked the prayer, soecifically the last line “…To love my friends like you love us. Generously. Faithfully. Sacrificially.”

  12. Kari March 4, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    My friends have gotten me through moving transitions, the death of a child and have helped me grow in my relationship to our Lord and Savior. Friends are God’s angels sent when we need them. He has shown me that it is good to be corrected in love from a friend and to correct with that same love and grace. Thanks, Liz, for reminding us to thank Him for our friendships and how to practice being a friend.

  13. tonya parker March 4, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    This study made me realize that I need to be a better friend to other people, not just the ones on my friends list but to all. I know I can count on Jesus to help me accomplish this. Thank you for the insight. Blessings!

  14. Sue Wilson March 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    I don’t make friends easily and when I do, it is deep and meant to be lasting. But I discovered not everyone operates that way. Some of my deepest pain has come from friends who have, for various reasons, walked away from our friendship. But somewhere along the way, God seemed to be telling me that I could only maintain so many friendships, and if no one ever walked out of my life, there would be no room for those He was preparing to bring into my life. Somehow that has made it a little easier to say good bye as I move forward with a bit of expectation that someone new is on the way to bless my life.

  15. Cynthia M March 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    Oh what wonderful timing! I have recently been struggling with a “friend” situation that has tripped me up tremendously. Even my husband has tried to speak words of wisdom to me but I pushed it away hanging on ever so tightly. But now after reading this the fog is lifting and I am realizing that what I though was a friend doesn’t even have a single one of these characteristics. Yes I guess you can say I am a little slow or maybe better said….STUBBORN! haha! Again thank you for the timely post.

  16. Anne Healy March 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    One of God’s most beloved gifts for most of his children are friends. Some are loved more than others, some are cherished more deeply than others, but all are precious in His sight. And because of that, they are, indeed, dearer than dear to us.

  17. Meredith March 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    True friends are amazing and a gift from God! When we love as we are commanded in the scripture it is impossible to not attract friends but finding other people with the same values and devotion to Christ can be challenging if you are not grounded and rooted with a loving church family. I have a few true friends who are also family. I am blessed beyond measure with the people in my life.

  18. Norma March 4, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    Friends…some of the most precious gifts that the Lord blesses us with. I’m so thankful to have several close friends to share life with. Thank you, Liz for these timely and encouraging words. I pray I will always strive to be the kind of person who always puts my friends’ best interest before my own.

  19. Linda March 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    This has brought fresh tears to my eyes and touched my heart.
    I have recently been thinking a lot about my 2 closest friends, who have rently moved away, and because of challenges in communication and various issues going on, have felt removed from my life……and I have actually been mourning their loss.
    This book sounds like it would be a good encouragement for me right now.
    Thanks for the post and glad that you are back to your vibrant and engaging self again !!!

  20. Gina March 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Wow! It’s amazing, because I was just talking to the Lord about friendships this morning in my prayer-time. Honestly, I’ve have had some great times with friends that I am grateful for. Also, I’ve had one friend for over 30 years. But in my experience, friends mostly come and go. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a good friend, or to seek those that have like interests. I also pray that the Lord will make me a better friend-someone who will tell the truth in love without trying to be the Holy Spirit. My goal in friendships is to minister to others through my faith. My best friends are my two sisters, and my husband. They know me the best and still love me unconditionally. I always trust their loyalty. When friends have failed, it’s made me even more grateful that Jesus is the best friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is a friend that will never leave, or think that your expectations of him are too high. He’s also never too busy for you. At the same time, he gives you your space and loves you just the way you are. He will remain my best friend for life. Thank you God for giving me Jesus.

  21. Jamie Kaiser Knowlton March 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    This email couldn’t have come at a better time! My best friend is having a birthday dinner tonight with a group of ladies. She is most encouraged in life by affirming words, so I was trying to come up with something special to share about her tonight. I’m so excited to share this email at dinner because this is exactly the type of friend she is!
    Thank you Liz! You are amazing as usual.
    <3,
    Jamie

  22. Jaime March 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    When I read the numbers at the beginning of this, I thought of Facebook and “friend collectors”, those people that have to have massive numbers of friends and send requests to every friend on their friends’ friend lists. That’s not what friendship is. I have a friend who I’ve known since second grade. We can go long periods without speaking if life gets in the way but we always are there for each other no matter how much time passes or what happens. So if an earthly friendship can be that great, imagine how beautiful, wonderful, and awesome a friendship with the Lord is!

  23. Julie Sunne March 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    “It’s not a judging thing. It’s a loving thing.” I want friends like that! Friends who will provide good, loving, and sometimes hard counsel. Anything less is hardly a close or intimate friend! Great post, Lizzie!

  24. Pam Deyerle March 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    This SO spoke to me today. I can be a difficult one to “correct” sometimes, but I have a dear, dear friend that loves me enough to do it anyway when needed. I have a “stubborn” streak that can be very beneficial at times, but can also make it difficult for me to accept advice and correction without fighting it first! I was just telling her the other day that I am trying to do better about being “stuck in wet cement,” when it comes to listening to what she says. (I sound horrible, don’t I!) She actually told me she had noticed the change! This article really helped me see how much she truly must care about me.

  25. Shirley March 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    Liz, first off, I am so grateful for your good health news. Such a blessing. I
    have several friends, but truly only 1 intimate friend. We started over 20
    years back when I watched her children. God gave me chances to share
    His Word with her, and her heart was an open receptor. To this day, I
    must say she is my best friend and we both are still growing in the Lord,
    and He turns out to be the biggest part of our conversation. WE both have
    freedom to share any trial, hurt, etc knowing it will only go before God.
    The other friends I have are also ones I share the Lord with, to encourage
    spiritual growth. So grateful to call you friend, Liz, through my study
    of your books I have grown to love you even though we have never
    met in person. Praying one day we will. Many blessings,

  26. Becky March 4, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    God has blessed me with a sweet sister in Christ, a friend who meets all three of these. I never wanted a best friend after Beverly died in 2004. I was angry when He moved good friends back to Oregon a year ago. But I never expected He would bring me such a sweet friend when He bright our new Pastor and his wife to our church 6 mo ago. Sharon and I became friends quickly. I’m so thankful for her.

  27. Andrea March 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    This is so timely for me! I’ve been in a triangle of great advice with two friends this week; one friend gave me some wonderful insight about a subject that came up at my son’s school. That same friend gave our other close friend advice on another parenting matter. I’m beyond blessed to have these trustworthy sisters in Christ!

  28. Cindy Regnier March 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Hearing those “ouches” from a friend stings, but how much better than hearing them from someone who is not a friend? An enemy perhaps? Cherish your friends, especially those courageous and obedient enough to give us an owie when we need it.

  29. Vicki Moore March 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    I have been blessed to have a few good friends who love me enough to tell me when I’m messing up. I cherish their love manifested in correction–God is using them to refine me.

  30. Pat Castle March 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    Liz, I loved this. It so describes a very special friendship that I have had for over 40 years. We do not call ourselves friends, we are “Forever Sisters”.

  31. Yvette Bentley March 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

    Liz,

    Thanks for this study about friendship! This is both timely and excellent for me and where I am on my spiritual journey. What resonated with my spirit the most is how a friend’s advice is sweet to the soul.

    Whether I agree or disagree with the advice of a friend, it is sweet to my soul because I know that a friend’s advice is coming from a place of love. Though I may not always agree with a friend, I still love them and respect them for who they are and the friend they are to me. Out of love, a true friend will take the risk of sharing advice that may not be favorable and then move out of the way to allow you to have make your choice and pursue your process based on your choice.

    Thank you for allowing God to use you. I am a native & resident of Louisville, KY as well – hopefully our paths will cross one day. I would love to meet you!

    May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you!

  32. Patricia Ellis March 4, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    God is revealing to me that I don’t have to see my friends daily, weekly or even monthly to be rich blessings in my life. I can pick up the phone at anytime and carry a conversation that speaks love into each of our lives.

  33. Sunshine March 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    Reading this, I praise God for a dear friend, just like you wrote about here, for my 17 year old daughter. Mary is an answer to years of prayers. I kept asking God for just one friend as many school years went by with loneliness and just acquaintances for my daughter. Now she has good friends, but the best is Mary who spends at least one night a week in our home and loves my daughter in a very Christlike way!

  34. Emily Aragona March 4, 2016 at 4:12 pm #


    Having a good friend let me see the err of my ways…I so appreciate that honesty…especially when it is done with love and allows me to open my eyes…Thank You Lord <3

  35. LouAnn March 4, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Dear Liz,

    Your words of wisdom so impact me every time I read a post or a book.

    Today’s topic: Friendship. Hum.

    I struggle in this area. I use to be good at it then God gently moves those I get close to, trust, share my life and my heart .. away. Another city is one thing (but still she’s almost 4 hrs. away!) and many to other states. I don’t understand and I struggle with issues of abandonment a lot … from childhood through today.

    I do have one sweet friend, (the one 4 hrs. away), that is the friend you speak of in your teaching. She shares my heart, my secrets, my trust, and my love. She is my roomie-of-the-heart.

  36. Lawan March 4, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

    Such a great post! Thank you. I need to be reminded of this occasionally. I am blessed with a network of ladies that have grown so dear over the past 10+ years.

    For most of us the only thing we have in common is our love for Jesus & running hard after Him! It is wonderful. It’s taken a while but we now trust each other & share freely without fear.

    What’s especially nice is that new ladies are always joining our group. It is safe, it is fun, it is awesome!

  37. Barbara March 4, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    I appreciate the encouragement to “make time” for a dear friend even when we don’t seem to have it. Hard because we all have full schedules. People are eternal, though; we can’t take things with us into eternity, but we can take a friend & we can make our own & our friend’s life here on earth better by sharing it with her.

  38. Kate H. March 4, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    While visiting one of my girlfriends, we got to chatting about how we’re each other’s “person”. LOL. It’s comforting to know that we have each other’s backs through the thick and thin. I knew we were going to be besties when she first walked up to me (at 24 years old) and said, “Will you be my friend?”. We had just finished up our first marriage small group meeting and God must have put it on her heart to ask such a playground question that I couldn’t say no. I’m soooo grateful for my “person”. 🙂

  39. Brenda Williams March 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    I think it’s interesting the numbers of friends you can have. I certainly don’t have as many as the statistics say a person can have, even casual friends. I do enjoy many friendships and as I’m getting older finding other relationships that are growing into friendships. Friendship is such a wonderful gift of God.

  40. Ali March 4, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    Friendship is such a beautiful thing. In today’s society it is hard to find good friends. I am grateful for the ones God has given me.

  41. Martha March 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    My friends were there for me when I had surgery last summer. I could really feel their prayers for me.

  42. sandra hoover March 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    Kindness, helpfulness, and generosity are what I value most. I am thankful for the friends I have.

  43. Iva March 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

    The amount of true friends I have can be counted on one hand. They are the ones who tell me like it is and do not mince words nor do they avoid telling me what I need to hear. I get by with A LOT of help from my friends and I cherish each one of them.

  44. Glenda March 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    What I’ve learned from today’s Bible study is that I need to be in touch with my close friends more often rather than waiting on them to call me. I recently lost my husband after a long illness and I just wanted to”hibernate”. I have some awesome friends who have checked up on me, one of whom I’ve had since we were children. I thank God for my precious friends continually and don’t know how I would have made it through my husband’s long illness without them. Now I need to reciprocate and show them how much they mean to me. Thank you, Liz, for this wonderful blog.

  45. Bonnie March 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    It takes time to nurture a good friendship. I want to use the time God gives me to be a friend to others.

  46. michele s March 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    Friendships are a beautiful way to glorify God. My closest friends have listened to and have been a part of my trials and victories, they have prayed with me and for me, they have directed me to the Lord and His awesome Word when I’ve struggled with my circumstances, they have shown me love when I have been hard to love. God is good. He gives us community and friendships to shower us with His love. Thank you, Jesus!

  47. Marie Cohoon March 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    My friends are my family. I have acquaintances at church and in the neighborhood. My dog and house keep me busy. Together with my Lord for devotions and Bible study…it’s enough for me.

  48. Robbin March 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Such timely encouragement! My “sister friends” are treasured gifts from God.

  49. Gwenn March 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    To have a friend is God’s gift to me. To be a friend is my gift to him.

  50. Martha T. March 4, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    Great Bible study! I appreciate everything you wrote,but the point about a friend will tell you the truth even though it might hurt is very important.

  51. Eva White March 4, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    I have a few very good friends that I’ve made throughout the years that I could count on in a second, but I have one that is my true soul friend. We have known each other almost 30 years and have been through almost every situation possible. We each fill all of the points in this study!! 🙂
    We have had our ups and downs, births and deaths, wishes fulfilled and denied, but we were there for each other all the way. I am so blessed to have been given this friendship by God. The greatest thing that came through our friendship was the opportunity to bring God to her life and into her heart!!
    Thank you Liz for all the times you have given us the perfect insight to life through our Lord and Savior!!

  52. Pam Erselius March 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

    I am so thankful for friendships. I would love this book for encouragement in being better at reaching out.

  53. Sue Brown March 4, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

    I lost a dear sister and her absence is missed because she could always be relied on to tell me the truth no matter what the situation might be. Most people say what they think you want to hear ………….Sharon was strong enough in our mutual friendship that we could always speak the truth no matter how deep it might cut.

  54. Krystal March 4, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    I may not have many true friends, but those that I do have created friendships that contain all 3 elements you wrote about. I am blessed beyond measure to have these friends. God reminded me about that blessing through your post. Thank you.

  55. Kristi March 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Bless you Liz! I have been struggling with my relationships with a group of women I’ve known since high school. We have all changed so much over the close to forty years. I’ve learned how important forgiveness is, forgiving others and myself.

  56. Susan G March 4, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    After reading your wonderful words I realize I need to simply be a better friend… I need to connect more with my friends instead of waiting to hear from them. Such good words and great verses.
    So glad God has strengthened and healed you dear friend!
    Love you Liz!

  57. Kathy Ausburn March 4, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    I have learned that friendships go through seasons just like marriages do. I am grateful for the lasting friendships that have weathered the seasons right alongside me. Thank you for your insights.

  58. Sherry March 4, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanking God for the blessing of friendship… Jesus being my closest friend and then the added blessing of girlfriends who support, encourage, and just experience life together. Love the quote, “Times with friends is healing time; it’s holy time.” (by Rachel Macy Stafford) Thank you Jesus for the gift of friendship! May I be a friend to my friends in the same way, you befriend me!!
    Lizz so glad to hear that you’re feeling better and that your health has been restored!! 🙂

  59. Renee Yoder March 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    I’m blessed beyond words to have several friends who will rush in when the rest of the world rushes away. Friends who have been there through thick and thin and kindred spirits who will listen and care about the deepest heart ponderings and not judge or criticize, but just care. I know it’s true that to have dear friends, you need to be a dear friend. Thanks for your encouragement to be that kind of friend for others, Liz.

  60. Vicki March 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    The Blog today was a sweet reminder that God has supplied even friendships.
    As I’ve grown older, I so appreciate the women in my life. Sharing life with it’s ups and downs.
    Reminding me of the great love God has for us.
    I am so blessed by the friendships I’ve been able to keep.

  61. Julie March 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    Liz,

    This is an “on time Word”! I was just talking to a friend of mine today about being accountable to them with my finances…I was sick a couple weeks ago, and ended up spending way more money than I should have; so this week I decided I was going to make myself accountable to them and not buy anything that was not on my shopping list.

    I cannot imagine what life would be like without the deep friendships that each of us make with those few people we choose to let into our most inner selves. I am thankful that God created us in such a way that we NEED other people on such a deep level to get through this life. Even more so, I am thankful for the few close friends that God has brought into my life!

    Have a Safe and Blessed weekend Liz! So glad that God restored your health and *batteries* again 😉

    • Kathy Paulson March 26, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      My friends rallied around me when I was diagnosed with cancer. They are such a blessing .I don’t know what I would do without them. You see I only moved to this town 2 years ago. Then I didn’t know anyone in town. Now I have great friends and together we get through whatever challenges we have to face, thank you God for for such wonderful friends!!!

  62. Amy March 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    This was such a blessing and reinforcement of what friendships are all about. Good friends tell us what we really need to hear and true friends don’t sugar coat the truth when they speak it. With Jesus as our example of what a friend is, we have the BEST guidelines. Recently, I had to “hear” from a friend about my downfalls and Liz is right, “OUCH!!!” But even though I did not agree with all of it, I have been making changes with God’s help. Thank you for the eye-opening encouragement, Liz!!

  63. Debbie March 4, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    I’m thankful for my friends, my best friend is 15 years younger than I am!

  64. Nancy March 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    Friendship is a wonderful gift that I have come to respect and treasure.

  65. Crystal March 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    I love how each friendship is unique, like a beautiful flower!

  66. Cynthia March 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    Bless you! I am going through a very difficult time in this area right now. I am being faced with the cold, hard facts that a vast majority of people I thought were my friends are simply acquaintances willing to turn their backs and walk away. These verses are helping me discern who is truly interested in friendship for the sake of loving me and those who only sought to get close to me to expand their circle of influence. I am praying for more people to love me enough to ask questions and hold me accountable rather than turning away from me.

  67. Debbie Henry March 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    What a great reminder of how important it is to intentionally work on deepening friendships rather than having many casual friendships.

  68. Pat Hall March 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    Liz, this truly touched my heart and made me remember that my friends are ‘gold’. I do not need to take them for granted as I sometimes drown in the ‘busyness’ of life. As a single woman, God has blessed my life with friends, and I need to treasure them and thank Him daily for being so good to me. I treasure you, My Friend. ?

  69. Debbie Salmonson March 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    I cannot even describe to you how amazingly timely this blog post is to my heart and soul! I would dearly LOVE to receive this book on friendship. Thank you!
    Liz, I am delighted to see this posting in my inbox. Praise God that He has restored your health!

  70. Mary March 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

    I am blessed with a dear friend who is like a sister and another who is like a daughter. I have learned that friends can come and go and be there for a season. Thank you for this blog on friendship. They take work, but they are worth it. Real friends don’t cut and run when you mess up.

  71. Jan @ Sweet Jesus Ministries March 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    I have been accused of being brutally honest. Oh, I don’t mean to be! I just don’t hem-haw very well. 🙂
    Great post! We all need friends that sharpen us!

  72. Becky Foutz March 4, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    It was good to be reminded of the friendships I have ~ sometimes we take each other for granted. I determined to let them each know how much I appreciate them!

  73. Diana Guz March 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

    These truths are exactly what I needed! I see these qualities in my closest friends, and I realize now that I can thank them by choosing to love them no matter what. Thank you so much, Liz, and God bless you always!!

  74. Brenda March 4, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve been blessed with so many friends. Reading this made me think about what kind of friend I am to each of them and what kind of friend God wants me to be. ?

  75. Patty March 4, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    Some friendships last a lifetime and some last for just a season. I feel blessed with these friendships. The only friendship though that has never let me down is the one I have with Jesus my Lord.

  76. Susan March 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Beautifully said.

  77. April Cunningham March 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    The Lord has put so many messages of friendship in my path lately. I know He’s going to provide great friends to me here in West Virginia if I am willing to be open to loving counsel, say (and hear) some hard things, and love unconditionally. Lord, open my heart to the friendships you want me to pursue. Help me keep an open heart to accept those around me, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

  78. Cynthia Quiroga March 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    It is not a judgy thing, it’s a loving thing. … The whole thing is wonderful…I’m very socially awkward, so friendships are few but very cherished. God is showing me He wants me to encourage and be hospitable to women. This is scary because I’m not naturally a tidy homekeeper, combined with my awkwardness…whew! I need Jesus!

  79. Carolyn Crail March 4, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    Friends come in all circumstances, church ties, and timings. True friends are always there no matter what. What would we be able to do without our greatest and closest friend, Jesus. Always there no matter what. Circumstances come and go much like many friends. God is our help in all things at all times.! Thank you for this study.

  80. Stephanie March 4, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    I love the idea of this book!
    Deep, true friendships need to be intentional, and take time and energy…I had a friend today encourage me to “go for it” as I struggled in making a decision about an opportunity. She listened and gave wise counsel…so I’m moving forward! I trust her judgment.
    Real friendships grow richer over the years.

  81. Brenda March 4, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    I have a very dear friend whom I love with all my heart. We’ve been through a lot together. The friendship only gets sweeter.

  82. Melissa March 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    True friends… the part of telling you what you should hear versus what you need to hear is often a hard pill to take on either end. I value my friends that can straight up tell me you are making a mistake or I think you are moving in the wrong direction as well as the ones that encourage me to go for things that I think are beyond my reach or to try new things.

  83. Jane March 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    Wonderful article Liz! Says so many things I think. I’m going to forward it to several people, including my 2 sisters who are my forever friends, & friends who are as close as sisters to me.Thanks!

  84. Edie March 4, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

    At one point in my life I did not have any girlfriends. Now I have lots of friends and as said on your devotion a few that I really really trust with certain facts about my life. God has blessed me richly.

  85. Alana Morgan March 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Great study and reminders of what type of friends we want and we want to be. Especially loved the references to God’s exact words in this skill set.

    Happy and blessed weekend Liz so very thrilled with God’s healing and restoration of YOU!!!

  86. Holly March 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    I was so delighted to receive and read your post today. I have missed you. I most loved that you wrote “anytime a friend looks you in the eye or takes your hands, her show of compassion is sweet to the soul.” That so touched my heart.

  87. Tambria March 4, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

    I belong to a group M.O.S.I.C.s- More of Sisters in Christ. We do life together through social media, church and prayer plus most of us are in a Bible study weekly. Every comment is listened to, every reaction genuine, every hug meaningful…in a large group or smaller gatherings, it’s the truest form of women fellowship I’ve experienced. It trumps most every friendship I’ve had. Bottom line- it’s real in a world that’s so plastic! If you haven’t found this yet, start it at your church. Join a study. Take it one step further and then one beyond that! You deserve it!

  88. Donna M. March 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Dear Liz,
    This has me really thinking about the friends God has blessed me with. There are a few. One in particular. I am so grateful to God for her. She has been all these things to and for me. I pray I am to her, as well.

  89. Irene Talaasen March 4, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    This was a special post! and touched my heart with thankfulness for at least three friends like you mentioned. Thank you for the possibility of the book giveaway and thank you for your message of hope and encouragement.!

  90. Linda March 4, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

    I feel very fortunate. I taught in PA and VA. I have true friends from both places. Right now, we are all vacationing together. Since I’ve retired, I have seen a strong friendship with one of my principals. I agree there are a few intimate friends in our lives.

  91. Glaphre March 4, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    I enjoyed reading your “Three Things Every Friendship Need”. We all need friends. We need each other. God is so good to send u s friends. May God bless you as you continue writing for Him.

  92. Alvina March 4, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    My grandmother once told me that friends are like autumn leaves scattered far and wide, but a true friend is like a diamond, rare and hard to find. I was just 13 when she shared that wisdom, now in my 60’s I have learned how true that really is.

  93. Sabrina March 5, 2016 at 5:14 am #

    I often feel frustrated or sad that I don’t have “more friends” or I don’t “feel accepted” or “have community” where I am but this is a good reminder that I need to focus on the few good friends I DO have and nurture those relationships because they are way more valuable than a large group.

  94. Sue March 5, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Friends, the very close kind, have been such a blessing from God to me. But I often wonder if I’m a blessing to them through my friendship. Thanks Liz for this study on friends so I can look at the kind of friend I am to others.

  95. Tara March 5, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    God’s been working in me lately on how to be better in relationships–as a mom and wife is where my focus has been. This post reminded me of the beauty of friendships and that I can apply what I’m learning to this area too. I am so blessed with good friends.

  96. Martha March 5, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    This kind of made me sad. I need to work on being a better friend and I feel like I don’t have that many truly close friends. I also want my daughter to learn what true friendship looks like, so she can have those friends, but more importantly be that friend:)

  97. Linda H March 5, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    First off how excited to see your blog in my email and so happy to hear you are doing better. I would consider you my friend of the word who speaks the truth of the Lord into my life. Praise the Lord for friendships! As I was reading my closest friends faces came into view and reminded me of what a friendship is and my part in that relationship. Thanks you precious friend.

  98. madelyn March 5, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    my friends Paula & Kathy we share and are there for each other.
    friends are blessings from God.

  99. Judy March 5, 2016 at 7:53 am #

    What a timely post! I just met someone who I believe God has sent to me as a friend to an answer to prayer. I want to be the friend He desires me to be.

  100. Susan March 5, 2016 at 7:59 am #

    True friendship takes a time commitment; I’ve come to realize how important that is and am committed to making that a priority.

  101. Annr March 5, 2016 at 7:59 am #

    True fiends are water to my soul…

  102. Mary March 5, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    I praise God for two dear sisters that I can turn to for anything! Love, encouragement, rebuke, laughter, and just plain craziness! Thanks Donna, and Jackie

  103. Claire Cosgrove March 5, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    We have become so fixated on electronic devices in our hands and think that they are the link to friendship but we forgot that its actually hand holding and tear wiping that is true friendship – not the smiley kind.

  104. Annette M. Willett March 5, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    I do not know what I would do without my Best Friend Jesus and Carla I had surgery she went with me stayed took me home and never thought of all the things she had to do. My husband went to work . But Carla never miss a beat watching over me. Between her and the Lord it was awesome . She does so much for others it is unreal never thinking about how tried she might be. Truly Truly Bless to have her in my life and know what she does she does it in Christian Love, her parents, me her children and the whole school plus taking in kids and doing so much for others. I love her and Jesus shines in her . I thank God daily for my friend Carla.

  105. Jackie Bridwell March 5, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Don’t know what I’d do without my friends (especially the One true Friend I can totally trust);they have been there for me even when my own family haven’t and I am so grateful. Phillipians 1:3 ♥

  106. Vickie March 5, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    My sisterhood friends have lifted & sustained me through the journey of life. I am so thankful for them.

  107. Carolyn March 5, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    Praise God that He has healed and renewed “our” Liz!!!!! <♡
    I have been blessed with a deep friendship for the last 26 years!! Although we are 1000 miles apart I cherish her as a true gift from God!!! We each work at our bond, communicating almost everday. We call each other "my sister-friend"!!<♡

  108. Billie Conrad March 5, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    What a great reminder – sometimes we take our friends for granted and we should not.

  109. Helen March 5, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    This brought to mind how truly blessed I am to have my husband as my best friend. Always gentle with the advice, encouragement, and yes , even rebuking .

  110. Kathy March 5, 2016 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Liz! So glad you are feeling better! Just wanted to say I love my friends they are so precious to me. They have been there to catch me and I always want to be there for them. Jesus is our common denominator. Blessings! K

  111. Sally Jurkowski March 5, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    I always gain so much from reading your posts. Thank you for your post on friendship. The reminders of what constitutes a true friendship are full of sage advice. Having a true friend is so valuable to share your life with.

  112. Beverly March 5, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you for this timely post. It confirmed my struggle with speaking some hard words that a dear friend needs to hear.

  113. Michelle W March 5, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    That quote from Rachel Stafford… That time spent with friends is healing, holy time. It resonates with me. Somehow, just reading that, that frees up some of the guilt I’ve carried over spending time with friends instead of putting all my time, energy, and focus on family, home-keeping, homeschooling, etc. Time with friends can develop holiness and righteousness in us. I needed that today. Just that one quote brought freedom to my heavy-laden heart today.

  114. Loretta March 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you for this post! It makes me realize what ‘real’ friendship is.

  115. Peggie Cook March 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Your words always come to me when I need them the most. Really enjoy getting your monthly email. I’m guilty sometimes of not making enough time for my friends. Today I woke up early and baked my best friend a cake. No special occasion just because and it really made her day and mine as well. When we let the love of God shine through it warms our hearts as well as the hearts of others!

  116. Becky Saddler March 5, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    This post made me realize how blessed I am to have some solid, faithful friends. Thank you for reminding me the quality is better than quantity!

  117. Heather Potting March 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m blessed by my bestie. Though we live on opposite sides of the country now we are always only a phone call away. Been there for each other through 5 kids being born ( #6 comes in 2 months), been through multiple moves always supporting each other 🙂

  118. neva March 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    I have been blessed to have such a friend. She and I have been friends for 61 years. We met in kindergarden and have been friends ever since. We have been through thick and thin. And love each other unconditionally.

  119. Rita Cone March 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    The reminder that truth can hurt was important. But then to think about that faithful friend type of truth is not the same as criticizing truth. I have had friends say things because they love me and because of my own previous hurt I might have blinders on. When I have been told truth I have to reflect if my blinders are keeping me from seeing and hearing truth.
    Yes, faithful is a true friend.

    Thank you for this devotional. It opened just after I read one from a true friend. God’s timing!

  120. Lynette Lemmer March 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    True friends are the echoes of your heartbeat, the whispers in your pulse. Sisters who know and share and support you through the good and the bad times – loving you unconditionally, warts and all. Who reminds you to live simply and not take life too seriously.

  121. hymncourager March 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    SO very grateful for my precious friends and sistahs who speak truth into my life!

  122. BARBARA March 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    It is always nice when we are corrected out of love for each other. I am so glad I have such friends.

  123. Melanie Schloemer March 5, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    I realise I have way fewer friends than “most people” but the ones I have are good ones. I am blessed!!

  124. Angie N March 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    I so needed to hear this today! Thank you for your words.

  125. Carol S March 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    Thank you, Liz, for your timely words. Cherishing, thinking of, and praying for our friends keeps us close in heart. When I have an issue on my heart, I seem to always have a friend I can go to with that particular concern and receive candid, honest help. I thank God for that gift. Praise God for your good news and welcome back to my inbox!

  126. Gerry McIntyre March 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    It is such a blessing to know when you have this kind of friend and to be able to reciprocate and be this kind of friend.

  127. Pam March 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    The verse, Proverbs 27:6, is an important one for me to always remember as it is important for a friends honesty when I say or do something that should have been thought through prior to happening. A friend’s caring remarks can help me to know that through prayer the errors may be righted and friendships strengthened by love.

  128. Faye March 5, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    I am so blessed by God to have such a friend. Thank you, Liz, for so beautifully describing God’s gift of friendship.

  129. April March 5, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    Thank you for the reminder to foster the important friendships often!

  130. Christina Wright March 5, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    I am good to my friends, I’m sweet to my friends, I listen and give good advice, but, I feel I don’t keep in touch with them like I should, sometimes I don’t even call them back. There are circumstances although I feel I can do better ?

  131. Cathy Gross March 5, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

    Brandy is exceptionally busy running a therapeutic riding program for the disabled through our church. She has over a hundred volunteers and from the break of spring through to the bitter fall the program goes on blessing our community. Obviously this takes a huge effort and we get together only four or five times a year for coffee when her truck is getting inspected or the rare times she can come for lunch. Yet we share an incredible bond and mutual admiration. We both love Jesus and our spirits connect in His love. She also told me that iron sharpens iron and we re drawn to each other just for that. Our friendship is one of those exceptions where large amounts of time are not required for a deep friendship. But a great amount of love is the bond holding us together.

  132. Joy March 6, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    The part about not having the time but making the time struck a chord with me.

  133. Cherrie Medendorp March 6, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Good morning Liz:)
    Thank you for this devotional. It was very comforting to know how to be a close friend to the special people in my life.
    Loving, praying for them and they pray and love me.
    Your teaching is right on.
    I look forward to the day when in heaven we will be able to love everyone deeply just like our LORD.
    God bless you:)
    Your Cherrie:)

  134. Melinda Seil March 6, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Thank you for this reminder to have good friends, we must first be a good friend who is there for others and trustworthy through all of life’s messiness. God bless you!

  135. Toni March 6, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I had a wonderful friend for over 40 years. When I shared some concerns about our friendship and how it was losing ground she told her husband and he decided he didn’t want her talking to me again. The love described in your devotion is rare and not to be takenfor granted.

  136. Susan March 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder! I am grateful for the deep friendships I have with a few heart sisters. We do life together through laughter and tears, triumphs and sorrows. I could not do without their prayers

  137. Linda Burmeister March 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your insights on what true, godly friendship looks like. You’ve convicted me to be more true, honest when offering help to troubled friends. And to be gracious and open to receive helpful criticism.

  138. DeAnn March 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    “Wounds from a friend can be trusted” What a wonderful way to say when a friend speaks truth you can trust in the foundation of the relationship to heal your hurt and strengthen you. I don’t have many friends, but I do have a couple that have been my rock through hard times. God has blessed me with them.

  139. Sharon Neff March 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    This is sobering to me, because I am in the digital age where I have loads of “friends” on FB, Twitter and Instagram. However, being an almost empty nester, I am struggling with having meaningful relationships because a lot of my friends have retired and moved away, and practically all of my friends that I have made through my childrens’ activities, have fallen away. This is something that is a real heart issue for me, and I am struggling. Thank you for this post – I need to figure out how to be a good friend myself!

  140. Lori Bradley March 6, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    I learned it is better to than a few friends that support you, than alot. Make time for your frI ends and support and learn from them.

  141. Kathy Hillman March 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Liz, so glad to hear you are feeling better! God is good and does heal! I am meeting 5 childhood friends I have known since kindergarten for our 65th birthday in mid-May, we will spend a week together and what a special time it will be. Praying for continued good health.

  142. Janice Moore March 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    This writing has reminded me to give the extra effort to stay in touch with my best long distance friends. When we get together it is like no time has come between us. I regret having to move so many times and starting over with new friendships.

  143. Amanda March 6, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    This reminds me that the desire of my heart is valid…so I wait patiently for His providing of this kind of friendship.

  144. Ann March 6, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Liz! I enjoyed this post very much! It was helpful to see the realistic statistics about maintaining various levels of friendships. As a people person, I tend to think I can be very close to more people than what I truly can. Now I have a guide. Than you! The book looks great…thanks for offering the giveaway.

  145. Sue March 6, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

    I’m so blessed to have two very close friends who are my sisters in the Lord. We’ve been through so much life together and I’m so thankful for them both.

  146. Carol Bond March 7, 2016 at 12:20 am #

    This is such an important reminder. I have always struggled with not getting irritated when a person continuously does the same stuff, not to me I mean but to themselves. I get frustrated about it and my friendship with them gets damaged. But that is not the way the Lord is with me, therefore that is not the way I should be with others, most especially my friends! The Lord has been changing this in me, but since it is something that trips me up, the additional reminders are very good. I pray that I am a good friend to all my girlfriends, because I have surely been blessed with some wonderful friends!

  147. Patricia Walsh March 7, 2016 at 12:28 am #

    Friendships with sisters in Christ have carried me through this time. I lost my husband on November 7th 2015, and my sisters have carried me through grief and sadness. They too had been through the same grief. Day by day they loved me through. And yes we do say I love you and mean it. Thanks so much for your wit and wisdom.

  148. Barbara Alaimo March 7, 2016 at 1:43 am #

    I am thankful for my real friends who feed back what they are hearing me say and what my life reveals to them about how I am seeking the Lord.

  149. jennie d March 7, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    I provided good and loving counsel, I said the hard things, and I believe said them in a respectful and kind way, with compassion because I understand what it’s like to be in those shoes…and my friend pushed me away.
    Now wrestling with what it looks like to “love no matter what” in this sad and challenging circumstance. Your e-mail both confirmed what I’ve done and challenged me to think about where to go from here. Praying for wisdom…

  150. Jan Heyer March 7, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    3 things a friendship needs are Christian love, Christian compassion & Christian understanding. I am blessed to have a few very close friends who fit this category. Thank you Liz for your very encouraging Bible studies.

  151. elizabeth March 7, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    I’ve realized that I have friends like this but am more encouraged to make sure that I am being that same friend in return. Giving more, and not just always receiving.

  152. Mona March 7, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    I love this reminder of how intentional we have to be in our relationships.

  153. Janice Reist March 7, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Liz, I ALWAYS look forward to your emails. So glad for the report of health renewed. Thank you so much for today’s message on friendship. Such an important thing, especially to women. I appreciate your thoughts on being accountable to each other. Thank you Liz. God bless you as you continue to share your GIFT with others.

    Janice Reist

  154. Linda March 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Hello Liz, I really loved this article. Everyone needs to have the advice of at least one godly friend, and my best one has had to have been my mother, who at 85 is still the person I can come to for the most honest advice, if not always the easiest to hear. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful mother and friend.

  155. KC March 7, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    I’m thankful for a best friend who dares to speak truth into my life and has shown me the value of both receiving and occasionally, giving, those same hard but loving words.

  156. Karen March 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you for this encouraging reminder about friends.
    It was a great reminder that we only need a few really close friends to encounter “real Life”. I am thankful for a few friends that God has put in my life. Most often I am thankful to be able to encourage them but even more thankful that I am not the one with the serious/scary trials that he/she is facing. I am confident that when it is my “turn” my friends will prove faithful as well. My favorite expression is that I am thankful for the people that God surrounds me with. Whether they are my true confidants or acquaintances, even the homeless person on the street. I am most certain that God has placed them in my path for a specific reason. Some reasons may be more urgent than others. But in the scope of life and fulfilling the plans God has for us….the little things count as much as the great seemingly “big” things. thanks for all you do in the name of Laughter Liz Curtis Higgs( coming from a basically serious person who has learned to laugh more as life marches on).

  157. Mary-Ellen March 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    I so want to be that kind of friend and know that I have those close friends I can always count on. I have a hard time being intentional in making contact and pursuing girlfriend time on a regular basis. I’d love a copy of this book! Maybe I could glean some tips &/or get some inspiration. Bless you.

  158. Gloria Montalbo March 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    What a BEAUTIFUL reminder…..A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17
    & I LOVE this prayer…..
    “Lord, rather than simply counting my friends, I want to be fully accountable to them. To give and receive heartfelt advice. To speak and hear the hard things. To love my friends like You love us. Generously. Faithfully. Sacrificially.”

    Thank you!

  159. Melody March 7, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    My husband is honestly my best friend!! I have 4 close women friends

  160. Wendy Qualls March 8, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    Sometimes you don’t realize what a true friend is until you have lost them. My very best friend lost her life at 30 and I have never been able to replace the special bond like this we had. I love you Amy! Can’t wait to see you again.

  161. Yvette March 8, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    I learned from this post that I need to be a better friend. I listen but I don’t share when I feel a friend is headed down the wrong path. I am always supportive but not always truthful. I am always afraid to offend. I am going to try to strive in the future to be a complete friend, serving others fully. Thanks Liz 🙂

  162. Jan Peach March 8, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    Your message reminds me of my dear friend, Sheila. She underwent open heart surgery in December. God truly blessed and she is doing better now, although it was a long recovery for her. She is a true friend and although we don’t get to talk every day, we know we are there for each other always. I love her dearly and count her as one of my greatest blessings from the Lord. God bless you Liz.

  163. Susan Eaton March 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

    Being as I am an introvert, having intimate friends is a true work of the divine! My numbers are probably half of those listed here. My intimate friends are precious and priceless to me. I know I am loved unconditionally. Yes, they can wound me in ways to help me grow, focus and recenter my life. A true intimate friend will never wound so deep the healing is unbearable. They speak with love and wisdom. They journey with me thru the thick and the thin, happy and sad. I am so blessed by their presence, their willingness to pray for me in all things.

  164. Sheri March 9, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    I loved today’s entry! My views on what a true friend is has changed so much over the last couple of years. This study will cause them to likely change again! I have had a long history of being a selfish friend or a friend who thought that honesty at the cost of hurting someone was ok as long as it was honest and brutally than that just made me more genuine. I am learning to temper my honesty with love.

  165. Katherine Bruton March 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    It’s not so much something I learned as much as something of which I was reminded. About 25 years ago, I sat in the choir loft mentally crying aloud to God, asking for just one REAL friend (we were relatively new in the area and I was having difficulty finding my place). At the close of the service that very morning, a couple came forward to join our church — and they were from my hometown! I practically jumped over the railing to introduce myself, and that woman – that friend that God sent in answer to my prayer – is still my very best friend to this day! She loves the Lord, and exemplifies every good quality I want to have! Your post reminded me of all those wonderful memories. She has long since moved away, but our friendship, rooted in Christ, has remained just as strong!

  166. Michelle M March 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    As a former pastor’s kid and then wife, I totally agree with the small number of intimate friendships. I’m glad to know that’s “normal.” I don’t open up to very many people about the details of my life, but to the select few that really know me, I am eternally grateful to have them be my sounding board in life and to know they would drop everything to help me if I needed it. It is my mission to also BE that kind of friend!

  167. Janelle Knodel March 10, 2016 at 4:25 am #

    Love love love! I just heard you speak over the weekend at the Sweet Life Conference in Modesto, California. My daughter and I fell in LOVE with you! What a joy you are, & how fantastic to hear God’s message through you. I continue to share with my clients what I learned & how my heart was touched. Big hugs! ♡♡

  168. Laurie Diggins March 10, 2016 at 7:16 am #

    Friends are more precious than earthly treasures! Friends are uniquely grafted in our lives to help us fulfill God’s bigger purposes in life. Thanks, Liz, for opening your life to so many people. I am glad the Lord has restored you to health! Blessings to your whole family!

  169. G March 10, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Reading this made me realize my friend matches every point on this list and I fail at almost all of them!

  170. Ann dunlap March 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m thankful for my friend and mentor Marilyn, who has helped me learn the value of the Word.

  171. Beth March 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    I have a friend who was brave enough to tell me the truth, when I needed to hear it. It couldn’t have been easy and it hurt some at the time. But, I knew she was speaking out of love.
    It literally changed the course of my life. We are friends to this day, and I know she can be counted on to always tell me the truth.

  172. Bonnie March 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    My friends are so special . They are here to listen and pray with me .

  173. Berenice I. March 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Thank you for your word! This is very true and spoke to my heart. It is always important to speak from the heart to our friends and praying for our them at all times .

  174. Valarie March 10, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Yesterday I wounded my best friend. I didn’t want to but I had to because I love her. Please pray she forgives me.

  175. Martha Warner March 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

    A friend loves at all times. The best thing about having friends is that one can truly be real. We all have a fear [I think] to some extent that we would not be loved and accepted if only the real self was displayed. So grateful that Jesus sees us completely unveiled and loves us– and lovingly corrects us. Friends do that too. To have a friend and to be a friend like that— What a treasure.

  176. Loretta March 10, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    What helpful thoughts. Thank you.

  177. Darlene Adams March 10, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    I have had a busy week, I finally got to catch up with emails.
    This spoke to me, I have been struggling with a friendship that has gone astray.
    God’s amazing grace to speak to me today after reading this.
    A God Wink. I will do my best to reach out to my friend and also pray she understands I was just being honest about a hurtful situation. Thank you Liz!

  178. Ellen Dykas March 10, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    I was challenged by the thought of keeping 5 close bonds of friends…not because I don’t want that, but the tough reality of discerning WHO to invest in? Who to continue pursuing when life gets busy (on both ends) and how to also treasure friendships with whom I have much history. Thanks Liz for some great thoughts here 🙂

  179. Carolyn March 11, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    When God blesses us with true friends make sure that friendship is taken care of and nourished because true friends are hard to find.

  180. Anita Ohmart March 11, 2016 at 1:08 am #

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. They are a strength and inspiration to my soul !!!!
    Love your books!!
    God bless you and your ministry!

  181. Naomi March 11, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    I have a close friend that is going through a very rough season of life. Thank you Liz for the reminder to continue to be there for her!

  182. Crystal March 11, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    There have been times that I haven’t shared concerning behaviors with a friend because I was afraid of her being angry with me. I was reminded from this post that I need to speak the truth in love. I would want to know if (when) the roles are reversed! Bless you!

  183. Bonnie March 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

    A year ago my daughter discovered that my husband of 45 years, her father, had been having an affair with his business partner, who I thought was a friend, for 6, 7, 8, years. I don’t know the exact amount of time but it is at least 6 years. When the cat was out of the bag I met a man I never knew. It was clear he couldn’t stand me and wanted a divorce even though she is married and intended to stay that way. Her husband does not know. I have 4 friends that surrounded me like flies on fly paper. One of them was there everyday. I didn’t think I was going to make it for a long time but Jesus’ love and theirs pulled me through. We are working our way through the divorce process that is so painful and they are still there with me. It makes me sad but I can see now that God has a whole new life for me. I am getting excited about that part praying for a ministry to hurting women. I have been supported and corrected by being loved so deeply and unconditionally by my friends. I can see their beauty, the body of Christ, in the midst of the most difficult time of my life. I have learned so much about the beauty of deep friendships and am eternally grateful.

  184. sherri March 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    Love this!

  185. Pat Works March 14, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    I learned today that I have some true friends and that I need to work on being a better true friend that “Loveth at all times.” Thank you, Liz.. This was a real heart opener.

  186. Cindy March 17, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    My best friend of the last 44 years took me to a Women’s of Faith conference where I heard Liz Curtis Higgs for the first time. That was a wonderful afternoon of fellowship, praise and worship for our Lord. Thank you Nancy and Liz.

  187. Leslie March 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    Thank you for this! Yes, I am thankful for my closest friends – Beth, Tammy, Sue, Shelly, and my sister Harriette, too – some are close by, some I only see once a year, but we are still close and pick up right where we left off. Love them deeply!
    Thank you for the reminder to thank God for these lovely sisters!

  188. Patricia Annalee Kirk April 10, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Thank you for showing the way the Bible says we should do it. When I became a Christian, I lost friends because they didn’t like my new faith and we didn’t have anything in common anymore. That’s the sad part of salvation (but worth it.)