When I was starting off on my Christian journey a very wise man, who is now somebody I look up to and respect, told me “God will close doors on friendships and relationships that you will not understand the reasons why at the time but you will” at the time I didn’t think much of it but since then those words have rang in my ears on quite a few occasions.
At the time, I had a good friend we were so close we were more like sisters. We done everything together shopped, drank, socialised, holidayed, confided in each other I trusted her with everything and I was a complete open book to her and believed I had made a friend for life, that was until I became a Christian and God changed my life and sent me in a different direction than the one she was travelling on.
When my life began to change direction the new me didn’t want to down two bottles of wine on a Thursday night or go out to the pub on a Friday or Saturday night I was thirsty but not for alcohol a completely new and different kind of spirit that didn’t make you do stupid things and wake up the next morning feeling sick or having a pounding headache, no this spirit filled me up with love and peace and a hunger that no amount of Chinese food or bacon sandwich could ever fill it was the Holy Spirit. I’d fallen in love with my best friend, my councillor, my saviour, my redeemer and his name is Jesus.
My friend, who was a Christian herself, found all of this very hard to take in when I began to say “No” to her and wanted to do things that she had no interest in. I listened to worship music that was a fault because she didn’t, I got involved with church and began to go to church events that was a fault, I turned down nights out with her to go to a prayer meeting or worship concert guess what that was a fault too.
It was at this stage I could take a good long look at the friendship and it was then that it became very clear to me that this wasn’t a true, real friendship this was control this was somebody that had so much control over my life that I couldn’t see it until God revealed it to me.
I found myself being able to think for myself again, being able to make decisions with my husband about our home and our children and not feeling as if I had to involve her. My marriage was now between myself and my husband again with God at the centre not her.
This friend thrived when things in my life were bad when I was having problems with my marriage she was there and she was amazing she helped me up and pulled me out of so many pits of despair that I depended on her too much. When things were going pear shape in my life she was there. I dropped everything for this girl and would have done and did do anything for her No was a word that I never used where she was concerned I put her before everybody because the backlash if she didn’t get her way just wasn’t worth the agro. To be honest I don’t think she ever saw what she was doing was wrong. She honestly believed she was going above and beyond for me and that I was being unreasonable for going down a different path that she wasn’t ready to go down herself. Friendship turns sour when the spirit of control and jealousy comes in the door.
Warning signals of a controlling or unhealthy friendship:
· Your friend is not familiar with word NO
· Your friend must always get things done their way
· Your friend has too much to say with how you live your life
· Your friend interferes in your relationships
To me a friend is somebody that loves you even with all your flaws and imperfections. A friend is somebody who encourages you and somebody that you can trust. A real friend will never put you down through your past mistakes up in your face, bullies or manipulates you.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I watch my daughters and the group of friends that they have around them right now and I pray that they are always surrounded with good friends that will encourage them no matter what way their journeys take them.
So, when a friendship or relationship ends that you just don’t seem to understand the reasons why just remember “God will close doors on friendships and relationships that you will not understand the reasons why at the time but you will”