I love how God created us for community. He put us in families, churches, neighborhoods, and other relationships. But community isn’t always easy. It takes effort and time. It takes commitment and sacrifice. But that’s what makes community worth it.
There are some communities you don’t really have a choice in. You didn’t pick the family you were born in to. You didn’t interview all the neighbors on the block before you bought your house. But you do choose friendships. And because you get to choose them, you have the ability to choose wisely.
Scripture shows what friendships between women can look like. I found four examples of the types of friends you need. Let’s look at them together:
- Elizabeth and Mary – Elizabeth was Mary’s older relative. She had walked with God for a long time and her husband was a priest (Luke 1:5-6). When Mary found out she was pregnant, she quickly went to stay with Elizabeth. Mary stayed with her for about three months. I’m sure Elizabeth poured as much wisdom as she could into Mary for those months.
You need an Elizabeth, someone who pours wisdom into your life. (You also need a Mary, someone you can pour into.)
- Naomi and Ruth – Naomi had lost her husband and her sons. She decided to pack up and head back to her homeland. Naomi was so down, she wanted to change her name from Naomi (pleasant) to Mara (bitter). But her daughter-in-law Ruth stuck with her and cared for her. You need a friend who will be there for you when you’re at your lowest. One you can be honest with. One who will listen and care. But also one who won’t let you stay down for too long.
Just as Ruth’s friendship was a blessing to Naomi, your friend should bless you.
- Mary and Martha – Jesus and his followers stopped to eat at Mary and Martha’s house on their way through town. Martha was busy getting lunch ready while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. Martha told Jesus He should get Mary to help her. But Jesus gently reminded her that Mary was focused on what was most important (Luke 10:41-42). Mary and Martha were sisters and seem to be opposites in many ways. You need an opposite too. She is strong where you are weak.
Because of your differences, you see things in different ways. You even see God in different ways. Learn from each other.
- Women Accompanying Jesus – Luke 8:1-3 says, “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.” These women’s lives had been touched by Jesus, and they spent time together as they followed Him. I think of these friends as being in the same life-stage you’re in. You have similar goals and needs.
You spend time together, but because of your mutual love for Christ, your time is deeper and more meaningful than the usual hang-out-together type friends.
Did names from your own life come to mind when you read about these biblical women’s friendships? If you feel you’re lacking a type of friend you need, ask God to provide. Look around for women to invest in.