I believe in community, in coming together as Christian woman to encourage each other on towards Christ. That is why this summer I have chosen five beautiful ladies to share with you from their heart. This week I have asked Rebekah Hargraves to join us. She has written a beautiful post on friendship. Rebekah can be found online at Hargraves Home and Hearth her instagram is: Rebekah Hargraves. Enjoy her words of wisdom below. And come back tomorrow for another “husband of the blogger link up post”.
One of the saddest things I hear moms say is, “I’m just too busy in this season of life to have friends. With all these little kids, I just don’t have time to cultivate friendships right now.” Every time I hear a mom say that, I want to put my arm around her and say, “Sweet sister, you are too busy NOT to have friends!”
Throughout the Word, both in direct teaching and in story, we see the importance God placed upon friendships. Just think for a moment on the relationships between David and Jonathan or Ruth and Naomi or Paul and his various co-laborers in the truth. Sally Clarkson
says all the time that a mother left to herself in her home all day with her children becomes one of the biggest targets for Satan. It’s true! He wants you all alone, isolated from anyone who would dare attempt to encourage you in your faith, point you to the Lord, or inspire you to greatness in your mothering. Bottom line – Satan wants you thinking you are too busy to cultivate friendships in this season of your life. After all, he knows that it is in this very season of being neck-deep in mothering when you need inspiring friendships the most! He also knows that if he can get you to make excuses now for not fostering friendships, he can get you in the habit of doing so later, as well, to where no matter what season of life you are in, you will always think yourself too busy for such things. Don’t be deceived into making the little years of child-raising out to be a prison wherein you have no ability to fellowship with the outside world. That’s a lie, plain and simple, and we need to stop believing it.
3 Reasons Christian Friendship is so Crucial
~ Christian friends are there to help us in times of need.
I love the passage in Ecclesiastes which says,
“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ~Eccelesiastes 7:9-12
Whether it’s hard work that needs to be done, a fall into sin, a season of temptation, or another time of great need, friends are invaluable! We need each other. God made us that way! It’s foolish for us to think ourselves too busy for such a crucial aspect of life as community. Don’t try to go it alone, mama! Find a friend and you will go through life stronger, more encouraged, and more fruitful in your Christian walk and your work for the Kingdom.
~Christian friends edify you and are used by God in your sanctification process.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” In his Bible commentary, Matthew Henry writes,
“This intimates both the pleasure and the advantage of conversation…. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men’s wits… It sharpens men’s looks, and, by cheering the spirits, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance… Good men’s graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good… Men are filed, made smooth, and bright, and fit for business (who were rough, and dull, and inactive), by conversation.“
True godly friends are a fantastic resource for renewing your mind in the things of God, expanding your knowledge and understanding of the Christian worldview, and fine-tuning your thought process in regards to all areas of life. This is especially true for busy moms. When we are in the thick of mothering and feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or downtrodden, a conversation with an encouraging, God-centered friend who will point us to Christ and renew our perspective is exactly what we need. Not binge-watching Netflix, scrolling through social media, or going out for a manicure. Though those may help us feel better for a time, what we really need is to have our minds renewed with the lasting, refining, inspiring, encouraging truths of God’s Word. The truths that we will have fed back to us by godly friends.
~Christian friendship is a powerful tool for keeping your heart in close fellowship with the Lord and His ways.
We often hear that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The opposite is also true – good company grows and encourages the development of good character. Christian friendship is an incredibly powerful influence for good in your heart and life. Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758), daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards and mother of the infamous Aaron Burr Jr., perhaps said it best when she wrote,
“I esteem religious conversation one of the best helps to keep up religion in the soul, excepting secret devotion, I don’t know but the very best. Then what a lamentable thing ’tis so neglected by God’s own children.” (And, I would add – what a lamentable thing to neglect God’s own children!)
She went on to write,
“I look on the ties of friendship as sacred… A person who looks upon himself to be friendless must of all Creatures be miserable in this life – Tis the life of life.” (spelling her own 😉 )
I couldn’t agree more. If you want to be armed for spiritual battle, growing in your Christian walk, encouraged and bolstered for the hard seasons of life, you need friends. I said above that you are too busy not to have friends because you are just that – so busy with all the cares of this life – the struggles of marriage, the questions of motherhood, the stresses of health issues, whatever it is- that you absolutely must have godly friends by your side to see you through.
Cultivating Friendship as a Busy Mom
Now for the practical side of things! You may be sitting there thinking, “Yeah, I see the importance of friendship now, but how do you expect me to dedicate time to that when I’m just so busy?” My answer would be this – if you are too busy to find time for friends, you are busy doing a lot of extra things God never asked you to do. If God places a huge importance on friendship, then don’t you think He has made a way for you to pursue it, even in this season of your life? When we describe ourselves as being “too busy” for friendship, we are thinking ourselves to be wiser than God, better at prioritizing than He is, more understanding of what is and is not important. We are wrong. I love how my friend Naomi Quick said in our recent podcast interview that we are asking the Lord the wrong question – we are always asking Him how we are supposed to handle all the different hats we are wearing when, in reality, we ought to be asking Him if we are wearing hats that we put on our own head and that were never put there by God. And then be willing to remove them!
It has been said so much that it has almost become cliche, but it’s so true – we make time for the things that are important to us. If we are dedicated to aligning our lives with those things which the Lord calls important, then we will embrace His view of the importance of friendship and make the time to pursue it. The hard part is that doing so will require a relinquishing of some of the other pursuits we hold most dear:
- Many of us are guilty of giving time to Netflix more often than to a friend we invite over for coffee.
- Many of us are exchanging face-to-face fellowship for social media “friends” that we barely know at all
- Many of us keep things surface-level with our online friends when we could instead go a step further and really cultivate a true, deep camaraderie and friendship with them (as I have with the dear gal on whose blog you are reading this!)
The fact of the matter is this – if we are too busy for friendship, I’m afraid we only have ourselves to blame. If women hundreds of years ago who had no modern conveniences and who instead had to make all their own clothes and wash them by hand and grow, prepare, and preserve all their food still placed great importance on pursuing friendship and cultivating community, so can we, sweet sisters! It all comes down to whether or not we grasp the importance of it in the first place. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help get you started:
- I don’t like to use the quote “It takes a village” because of who it originated from, but the basic concept is very true – it takes community, encouragement, and friendship to do this mama thing well! We need each other in order to be bolstered in our endeavors! So, how about scheduling a play date with your friend who has littles of her own? Have her over and enjoy coffee or tea together while your babies play or meet up at the park!
- Take an hour or two one evening or on a Saturday, let your little ones have special Daddy time, and meet up with a friend for a nice, long chat!
- Text your friends uplifting Bible verses or lessons learned through your quiet time that day or leave them little messages of encouragement when they come to mind – this just takes a minute to do! My sweet friend, Geneva, is a pro at this.
- Check in on a regular basis with just a short little note asking how they’re doing – again, it doesn’t take long! Amber is awesome at this.
Those are just a few ideas to hopefully get you started and to inspire you in coming up with ways you can be about the business of fostering friendship in your life. I hope you have been encouraged today, sweet sisters! And now I want to hear from you:
How have godly Christian friends had a big impact on your own life and made a difference in your walk with the Lord? What is one little practice you are going to implement today that will help you in your mission to deepen friendships with other ladies? What has worked for you in the past?
Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, home business owner, podcaster, and blogger residing in TN. Her passion is to bless fellow Christian women through her writings on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, which exists to “edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood”.