A Good Friend Is...

This week, I'd like to welcome my friend, Marian Jordan Ellis to the blog. She shares my passion for speaking and writing, and I invited her to share with some amazing wisdom on how to have successful friendships from book, "The Girlfriend's Guidebook"  Here's a little taste:

“Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure or burden. The typical expression of opening friendship would be something like, ”What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”  (CS Lewis, The Four Loves)

Lewis says that friendship is birthed out of connection. Something unique draws us to a person and bonds us to them.

I’ll never forget the day that my friend Angel transformed from an acquaintance into one of my closest friends. I was in the midst of a full-blown-melt-down of mythic proportions when God brought her into my life. I was walking through a dark time after a heartbreak that tested my faith. The hardest part of that season was feeling so alone and thinking no one understood my pain. Most of my other close friends were married and starting motherhood, and they didn’t get my struggle with singleness or the searing pain of rejection. Then one day she stopped by my house armed with Coke, Cookies, and Chic Flicks.

Angel sat down on my couch, handed me the breakup survival kit and said, “I want to tell you my story.” In her gentle and compassionate manner, she proceeded to open up and tell me about her own experience. She said, “A few years ago, I was engaged to the man of my dreams. It was a fairytale. I loved him. He loved me. Then we went home to visit my parents for Christmas and on Christmas night, he dropped the bomb. He broke our engagement.” She really didn’t have to say much more, I just knew. She got me. 

“What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”

Here’s the beautiful thing about a good friendship—one can begin when you least expect it.   Anything can spark a friendship, but not anyone can be a friend. So the question is, what is a friend?

A friend is: "A trustworthy peer with whom we choose to lovingly live with in a relationship with unique access and service."[2] 

First, a friend is a “trustworthy peer.”  She knows your stuff. She’s got your back. She knows you have your lip waxed….but she’s not tellin’…. it’s in the vault.

Next, this definition says a friend is someone who has “unique access.” In our culture we use the term friend so loosely. I dare say that if most of the people whom we know on Facebook were to walk into our homes without notice, we’d be a little freaked out. But when your best friend stops by, she has “access.”  She not only has access to your home, but to your heart. 

I call this the “refrigerator test.” I know who my closest friends are by the comfort level we feel in each other’s homes. With my best friends, I will just open up their refrigerator and dig through it until I find the Diet Coke. I will help myself to last night’s leftovers without thinking to ask for permission.  Likewise, I know a friend feels close to me when she will do the same in my house. 

Finally, a friend “serves.”  So often in our “what’s in it for me?” culture, relationships are selfish.  A real friendship, as God defines one, is a relationship where each party seeks the best for the other and places the other’s needs before his own.  Someone isn’t really a friend if they are only in it for what they can get out of the relationship: power, popularity, prestige, or position. When someone is “working you,” she’s not your friend.

A friend is the girl who is there for you expecting nothing for herself in return.

  • A friend is there on moving day…
  • A friend helps wash the dishes long after the dinner party is over and the guests have all cleared out…
  • A friend listens to the breakup story again…and again…and again…
  • A friend senses a full-blown mommy melt down and takes the kids for the afternoon…
  • A friend sits in the doctor’s office to hold your hand and hear the report…

That was Sweet, what should I Tweet?

  • A good friendship—one can begin when you least expect it. Read this guest blog by @marianjordan: http://goo.gl/S2B1QB

  • A friend is the girl who is there for you expecting nothing for herself in return. Read this guest blog by @marianjordan: http://goo.gl/S2B1QB
  • Does your friend pass the refrigerator test? Read this guest blog by @marianjordan: http://goo.gl/S2B1QB

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You will not want to miss out on the free prizes I will be giving away this week which includes our guest Marian Jordan Ellis' book, along with some other goodies. Follow me on Instagram (@sharieking99) today so you can find out details!!