If there is ever a topic I shy away from, it’s the subject of friendship. There are several reasons for this but mostly it’s because it is an area of struggle for me. It takes a lot for me to open up and be vulnerable with people.
However, God loves to use our weaknesses to display His strength. He has been showing me the value in breaking out of my shell and letting people in.
Today I’m honored to be featuring Alisa Nicaud from Flourishing Today on my blog and I’m ever so grateful for her.
Alisa goes over the fundamental qualities of good friends, and they are all characteristics I hope I earnestly display in my relationships with others.
I can’t wait for you to read her wise words.
Have ever been stuck in mud?
When I was younger we would go “muddin”.
We’d take cars, jeeps, any kind of vehicle available and go out to a vacant field where we could ride through the muddy terrain.
Although it was a blast, someone always got stuck.
And the thing about mud is….once your stuck, you need someone to pull you out.
You can try pressing the accelerator to get yourself out, but that results in spinning your wheels and digging further into the mud.
Life can be like that sometimes, can’t it?
We get stuck in a situation or in a mindset, and rather than reaching out to someone else, we start spinning our wheels and digging ourself deeper.
The beauty of friendships, good friendships, is that we always have someone waiting with a hitch to pull us out when we get stuck.
Not too long ago, I became overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility I was carrying. In addition to traveling a lot, I had been overloading myself with projects and activities for the kids.
It all became a bit much and I began to recluse.
That’s what I do when I get overwhelmed, I begin to isolate.
I don’t mean taking a step back to rest, I actually close people off and shut down socially.
Definitely not a healthy reaction.
Thank God I have friends who know me well enough to recognize when I’m spiraling.
A dear friend of mine began to recognize my inward retreat.
Rather than holdback from hurting my feelings, she risked the friendship and came to me in concern.
She could see I was overdoing it.
She saw the exhaustion, the anxiousness and the heaviness that was weighing on me and she expressed those things to me.
What she didn’t know, was that God was speaking these same things to me in detail. He had laid out His concerns for me and began addressing each one in a loving way.
My friend’s words were confirmation of the changes I needed to make.
Since that time, I’ve thought about the kind of friend I want and the kind I want to be.
I came up with 3 qualities to look for in a good friend:
We all want a friend who will sticks by our side. A person who says, “I’m right here with you!” when you’re going through the hardest of times.
Jonathan and David experienced this type of friendship.
Their hearts were knit together as one.
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 1 Samuel 18:1-3 NIV
Jonathan repeatedly displayed his loyalty to David, regardless of what others thought. He gave David everything he had. He supported him in every way, even when Jonathan’s father sought to kill David.
That is true loyalty.
Do you have a friend that will stick by your side regardless of what you’re going through?
A good friend is someone you can trust. A few weeks ago my daughter was talking to one of her friends, who had something big coming up. Her friends said, “Please don’t tell anyone. But I had to tell you.”
It reminded me of when I was younger and would tell my secrets to my best friends.
I remember feeling like I would burst when I had great news to share with them.
Yet somehow as adults, we forget that we need that too!
We need friends that we can trust with our information, our feelings and our dreams without worry that they’ll go tell someone else.
We need friends to confide in and to confide in us.
Who are your trustworthy friends?
**On a sidenote**
God has designed us to be relational beings. If you’ve experienced hurts in past relationships, it can be difficult to trust people. But pushing through the doubt will be crucial to establishing healthy relationships in the future. If you are struggling in this area, I would love to pray for you. Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond.
This quality is probably one of the most valuable in a friendship. Having a courageous friend means being able to handle when they tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear.
I love this scripture in Proverbs:
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:6 NLT
Sometimes we only want to hear the good. Someone to encourage us and tell us how well we’re doing.
But there are times that we need to hear truth.
When things are going south and everyone sees it but us, we need a friend like the one I mentioned above who has the freedom to express their concern.
Do you have friends that feel comfortable speaking into your life?
Friendships are important.
We need others to do life with us.
Do you have close friends to walk with? What qualities do you love about them? Share them in the comments with us! I’d love to hear what you look for in a friend!
About the Author:
Alisa Nicaud currently lives just north of New Orleans, LA with her husband Philip Nicaud, their five children and their dog, Roux. She owns a boutique coaching practice and is the founder of the blog, Flourishing Today. Through her own tragedies, Alisa is intimately familiar with the struggles of anxiety, fear, insecurity and depression. Alisa’s willingness to be transparent gives her a unique advantage in relating to women from all walks of life and leadership. She freely shares helpful hints and practical encouragement rooted in Biblical truth in her posts and resources. Her passion is to help women grow in faith and walk in purpose. You can learn more by visiting her blog at www.flourishingtoday.com