Table of Contents
Friendships are an essential part of life. They bring us joy, companionship, and a sense of belonging. However, friendships can also bring heartache, disappointment, and pain. In this blog post, we’ll explore the balance of joy and heartache in friendships, backed by scripture and the one True friend we can always count on, Jesus Christ.
A girl’s first experience with heartache may have been over a lost “best friend” rather than a “boy friend”. When friendships are lost, women grieve. Friendships matter and can often become a life of love and grief.
We do not just grieve for the friendship, but also for the secrets shared, the trust given, and the acceptance enjoyed. If betrayed, the pain runs deep. No one can cause you more harm than someone you have trusted in deeply. It cut like a knife and that is when it starts–the creation of the mask.
The “you” you are willing to let the world see.
We hide behind our masks, thinking we are better off, but we lose so much. If no one knows I’m struggling, I deny them the chance to minister to me and keep me accountable. I lose the good advice of mature Christians, not to mention their prayers.
How it started and, however, it was reinforced; we want to look at how we can take the mask off and start to be real.
We don’t want to risk letting people see the bad stuff. If we let people see just the good stuff–if we never let them see the bad–we will be accepted and enjoy good friendships.
If you are being accepted by people because of the false front you present–then deep down you know it is only the false front being accepted. The real you will remain terribly alone and you know it. That is why so many women who we see as “picture perfect” are struggling with deep insecurities.
How do we start?
Before we can allow others to see inside of us, we have to accept who we are. If we are not comfortable with who we are on the inside, we will always hide behind walls. I lived a lot of years without God in my life and when my eyes were spiritually opened; I was all at once deeply ashamed, but completely accepted. It amazed me that God would love and accept me, just as I am.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 4:9-10
God loved me before I ever loved Him. He is the one who initiated our relationship. God did not wait for me to clean up my act so He could love me. I was a rotten person with all kinds of emotional baggage and bad habits!
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8
God looked down on me when I was utterly helpless! And He loved me.
If we can learn to live our life through our Father’s eyes, we will accept ourselves as imperfect people. We will learn to accept others as imperfect people, too. We will be able to take off our masks and allow others to do the same.
Intimacy = Allowing others to see the real you.
Intimacy is allowing others to see what is inside. Scary idea isn’t it? Practicing intimacy with others is all about learning to be transparent. The only way we are going to learn to be transparent ourselves is by practicing acceptance of others.
- How do you respond to people who are being transparent?
- People who are letting it all hang out, with no pretenses or masks?
- Do you see the negatives and immediately judge them?
- Do you find yourself secretly wishing that they would put a mask on?
Honestly, I have thought about that! Sometimes it is just easier to not see inside of others! But that is just selfishness. That is not the heart of our Father in heaven. He sees inside of all of us and loves us, anyway.
Next time someone comes along with no masks on, with their emotions and negative traits hanging out, take time to really check them out. Look them in the eye and consider everything about them that drives you crazy!
Now love them, because God does.
Then go in the bathroom and look yourself in the eye. Don’t start thinking, “Well, at least I don’t go around like that!” or “I’m not so bad compared to that.” That will ruin everything. No, look and see the real you. See the “you” that is most definitely not perfect.
Now love yourself.
It will be a freeing experience for you. You will be on the way to accepting yourself and others.
If you are living behind a mask, I encourage you to take it off! Go to someone you can trust, maybe a Pastor or Christian counselor to start. If you have been wearing a mask for long, you may need to go slow. That’s okay, just don’t move backwards!
I have shared my insecurities with people who used them against me, and I have shared my dreams with people and been made fun of. There have been times, I have reached out in friendship only to be rejected completely. Not gonna lie. Navigating painful emotional struggles in friendship hurts. But for every time that I have been hurt, I have a longer list of times that I have been blessed. I have made friends I would never have imagined. I have been amazed to see God use my testimony to give another woman hope.
Intimacy in friendship is not for every relationship. You do not have to lay your heart bare for everyone. That isn’t even healthy. Intimacy is different for every relationship. I have a few close relationships. These are women who I can go to with anything without being condemned or judged. I have other friends who I enjoy spending time with because we share interests or values. But I would not talk to them about intimate subjects.
Our friendships just do not go that deep. It doesn’t mean that I value the people any less than my confidants; I just enjoy them on a different level. It’s not important that I am intimate with many people, just that I am experiencing intimacy with some.
Relationships come and go. I look back and see women who have greatly impacted my life. Many of them are not in my life today because of geographical moves. I believe God does this to keep me from leaning too much on others, so that I will lean on Him!
Instead of becoming insecure and afraid to invest myself into new friendships, I have come to see them as a gift from God for a season. Not every friend we encounter is meant to continue the journey with us. Let them go. God has removed them for a reason.
The Joy of Friendships
Friendships can bring us great joy and blessings, as well as heartache and pain. The Bible acknowledges the importance of friendships and the impact they can have on our lives.
Friends are a gift from God, and their presence in our lives can bring us great joy. Proverbs 27:9 says,
Ointment and perfume delight the heart,Proverbs 27:9
And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Genuine friends offer us support, encouragement, and a listening ear during both good times and bad. They are there to celebrate our successes and help us through our struggles.
The joy of friendships is also clear in the example of Jesus. He had close friendships with his disciples, and he even referred to them as his “friends” in John 15:15. Jesus showed us the importance of loving and serving others, even in the context of friendship.
The Heartache of Friendships
While friendships can bring us joy, they can also bring heartache. Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that:
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,Proverbs 18:24
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Having many friends is not necessarily a guarantee of happiness or security. Friendships can be fickle and fragile, and they can easily be broken by misunderstandings, disagreements, or even distance. While we should cherish the friendships that bring us joy, we must also remember to seek out and value those friendships that endure even amid heartache.
Proverbs 13:20 cautions us to choose our friends carefully, stating,
He who walks with wise men will be wise,Proverbs 13:20
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
The Bible reminds us to value the friendships we have, but also to be discerning in who we choose to surround ourselves with. Ultimately, our true source of comfort and strength comes from God, who is always faithful and never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).
The heartache of friendships is also evident in the example of Jesus. He experienced betrayal from one of his closest friends, Judas Iscariot. In John 13:21-30, Jesus predicts that one of his disciples will betray him, and Judas ultimately does so by leading the soldiers to arrest Jesus. Jesus’ experience of betrayal reminds us that even the closest of friendships can be broken.
Finding Balance in Friendships
So, how do we find balance in our friendships, with both the joy and heartache that they bring? First, we recognize that no friendship is perfect. We are all flawed human beings, and we will inevitably make mistakes and disappoint each other at times.
However, we can strive to be better friends by following the example of Jesus. He showed us the importance of forgiveness, humility, and selflessness in our relationships with others. Finding balance in a relationship is not impossible.
Second, we must seek friendships that are built on a foundation of trust, honesty, and mutual respect. Proverbs 17:17 says,
A friend loves at all times,Proverbs 17:17
And a brother is born for adversity.
True friends are there for us through thick and thin, and they will be honest with us even when it’s hard. This verse highlights the importance of having friends who will stand by us through the good times and the bad.
Finally, we must be willing to let go of friendships that are toxic or harmful. Proverbs 22:24-25 says,
24Make no friendship with an angry man,Proverbs 22:24-25
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
While it’s painful to end a friendship, sometimes it is necessary for our own emotional and spiritual well-being. God removes friendships for a reason, even when we don’t understand it.
Friendships are a source of both joy and heartache. We must find a balance in our relationships by following the example of Jesus, seeking trustworthy friends, and being willing to let go of toxic friendships. As we navigate the difficulties of our friendships, we can take comfort in the fact that God is always with us. Psalm 46:1 says,
God is our refuge and strength,Psalm 46:1
A very present help in trouble.
With God’s help, we can find joy and comfort in our friendships, even amid heartache.
You see, our very Best Friend can be Jesus. People make mistakes, but He never does. He never betrays a trust or makes fun and He always listens and gives good advice. Jesus always builds up and never tears down. He invites us into uninhibited intimacy with Him. He knows our heart, and He longs for us to know His. It is a relationship that can never be taken from us by distance or death. It is a forever love that will sustain us through everything.
If you don’t know Jesus in this way, I want to invite you to get to know Him today. It starts with a prayer.
Wherever you live, there are some great churches nearby that you can plug into. Tell someone there that you prayed to accept Jesus and you want to know everything there is to know about Him. Leave us a comment and let us know how we can be praying for you and share this with a friend.