Do you know what ship never sinks?

Well, do you know what ship doesn’t sink?

No, the answer is not battleships — sinking each other is the whole point of that game!

No, it is not a cruise ship (although we sure hope those don’t sink).

The answer is: FRIENDSHIP!

I was sitting in church one day when the pastor was talking about relationships. No I am not here to talk about boys (even though I love that conversation); I am here to talk about something even greater than boy relationships: friendships. Anyways, back to the church sermon. The pastor was talking about how sometimes as Christ followers we can focus solely on a vertical relationship (between the Father and ourselves) that we forget to pour into our horizontal relationships (between other people on earth and ourselves). 

Okay this may be a bomb drop, because we sing so many songs about desiring the love of the Father and clinging to that only. Please, please, please do not get me wrong. The love of the Father is absolutely something we should constantly be chasing after and we should seek the Father in everything. What I am saying is that earthly friendships can be things that push us closer to the Father.

(Watch: How to Be a Good Friend.)

I wish I had the answers on how to make best friends with everyone, or even how keep friendships, but I don’t… No relationship comes with a manual; each friendship is different and complex in its own way. I am human and do the best that I can with friendships but I struggle — just like the rest of us. I struggle with being selfish, I struggle putting myself first, I struggle never putting myself first. The cool thing about this concept of struggling, as a human does, is that good friends will LOVE you through this. 

An example of a good friendship that comes to mind is King David and Jonathan.

Jonathan and David both were willing to risk things for one another, and love each other when it was not an easy choice. Check out their story in 1 Samuel 18! In verse 3, Jonathan  actually makes a covenant with David because “he loved him as his own soul.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t go around making covenants with my friends. Seems a little weird, right? But, as different as each friendship is, I do feel like there are unspoken things that are true for true friends.

(Watch: How to Make Friends.)

One of the keys to having good friendships is being willing to put in good quality time.

In one of my friendships, our quality time mainly looks like dinners in the caf. Another friendship is jamming to One Direction, and another is going and finding the best Vanilla Latte in San Diego.

Getting to the level of friendship that Jonathan and David had took time. They didn’t instantly meet and share the deepest things of their heart. Let’s be real: That would be a little crazy and overstepping so many boundaries! Instead, they started to find ways to spend quality time, and the deeper friendship came in time.

Sometimes, we just need to be a friend who will listen.

When reading through David and Jonathan’s friendship, I started to notice something… Jonathan doesn’t speak a lot. He was there for David as a listening ear and as a support in times of trials and joy.

That is one of the hardest things to learn as a friend — that sometimes we are just needed to listen. If you are anything like me, you try to fill the silence with noise, or try to give advice that might not be needed. I think that Jonathan exemplifies a good listening friend who knows when to speak and knows when to just listen and support.

(Watch: How to Be Friends with Guys.)

Friends are your go-to people when you are feeling lonely.

Sometimes feelings of loneliness can overtake you. Loneliness can creep in and make you feel like you are walking life alone. A mentor in my life had me write down who are my go-to people, the ones that I know I can call in my dark moments, and they will answer.

David and Jonathan were those people for each other. When David was running from King Saul, Jonathan was there for David in the ways that David needed.

Your friends are there for you if you realize it or not. I encourage you to write down who are your go-to people, and have that list tangible to help fight the feelings of loneliness. 

Finding those David and Jonathan friendships is definitely something that takes time and effort.

But once you find those friendships you know that you will never lose them. You can always pick right back up where you left off.

This year has been hard for me as I maintain and build relationships, but during this time I have had some really awesome people step up in my life and I could not be more thankful for them. I hope and pray that the Lord brings people into your life that you know are there for you however and whenever you need them! 

julia

Julia is an ordinary girl loving and serving an extraordinary God. A sophomore psychology student in sunny southern California, she tries to balance her desire to study with her desire to go to the beach. She is a lover of doughnuts, all things peanut butter, sunsets, and great conversations over beautiful cups of coffee.

 

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