Love and Friendship – Proverbs 22:11

Proverbs 22:11 – One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

There are so many who talk today of romantic love as if that were the end all of everything. But romantic love is often just an emotion. It’s roots are shallow and, in some cases, very selfish. True love last long because it is not shallow. It has it’s roots buried deep in the soil of friendship.

My wife and I started out, not as lovers, but as friends. We were going to college at Johnson University (formerly Johnson Bible College) in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our friendship started when I bummed a ride to church with a buddy. He was taking a girl to church. I didn’t realize that he thought of it as a date or I would never have butted it. I was just being a jovial guy when we picked her up and I opened the door for her. I didn’t realize it but I horned my buddy out at every turn. I feel a tad bit guilty about that but just a tad!

Our friendship developed quickly and with strong roots. In fact, I have to say I was angry with myself when my feelings for her started to develop into something stronger. I didn’t want to mess up a good friendship. It was easy to talk with her. We shared so much. We often took walks and met between classes. But even as we began to date our friendship stayed the basis for our relationship.

We were married less then a year after we met. Some people thought that we got married awfully quick. But when you have a love that is based on friendship your roots are deep and can weather the storms of life. Yes, there were troubles and struggles. There were times when we both had come to a breaking point. But God was the glue that held our friendship together and our friendship held our marriage together. I can’t even think of what life would be like without my friend, Wendy.

We used to have a private joke between the two of us. For a long time our friends at college would ask us if we were going together. We would answer, “We’re just friends.” When we got married, I gave her a baseball shirt with a saying, “We’re just friends…” on the front and on the back it said, “…we live together.” When someone would ask, we would explain that our marriage was based on our friendship.

Yesterday, we went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal they brought us fortune cookies. Most the time the sayings in the cookie are not as much fortunes as they are just cute sayings. But I had to laugh and share mine with Wendy. It said, “Love is friendship set to music.” What a beautiful sentiment.

I believe that my relationship with God is the same way. The Bible tells us that we are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.” Some people find it easy to love the Lord when you “feel his presence” or when you are at church with fellow believers. But it’s harder to obey and follow God at other times. When we put ourselves aside and put our friendship with God first, we find that it is easier to love and follow God in all circumstances.

I want to be a friend of God. I want to follow, obey, and learn from Him. I want to know how to please God and follow his will.

Dear God, Thank you for being my friend and selflessly giving your grace and forgiveness for my selfish ways. I ask, Lord that you will help me to be a friend of God, everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I Am A Friend Of God
Israel Houghton

Who am I that you are mindful of me
That you hear me, when I call
Is it true that you are thinking of me
How you love me, it’s amazing (Who am I Lord)

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

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