June 20

Without a Friend

Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. PROVERBS 27:10

We've never had so many options for connecting with people—mail, email, phone, text-messaging, even Internet video. Yet recent findings reported in the American Sociological Review show that the number of people who claim to have no one to confide in on important matters is up from 10 percent to 25 percent since 1985.

True friendship—what's happened to it?

Some people, of course, claim to have a multitude of friends. One college student said, "You go on some people's online profiles, and they say they have a thousand friends. Truth is, they probably don't even know half of them."

So these days, in this high-tech, low-touch culture, is genuine friendship even necessary? More specifically, once you're married and settled as a couple, is there still a great need for you to maintain friendships?

Hopefully, your best friend is the person you're sharing this devotional moment with. That's the way it's supposed to be. But husbands and wives both need at least one close Christian friend of the same sex. It's also important for you to have at least one other couple you can share with—mutual friends you can turn to for fellowship and accountability.

Barbara and I have a handful of true friends upon whom we frequently lean for counsel, advice and balance. We've discussed everything from discipling our children to finances, areas of struggle, managing pressure, and the seasons of life.

As you look at today's culture of high-tech communication, one of the greatest needs you have is to be connected to some true friends—kindred spirits, followers of Jesus Christ who will tell you what you need to hear—friends who won't hesitate to weep with you or bring comfort or encouragement (or even correction) in a time of need.

DISCUSS

Who are your closest friends? What do you need to do to keep those friendships healthy and vibrant?

PRAY

If the two of you need some friends to come alongside you, ask God to direct you and another couple together. Be patient, and expect Him to provide. 

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