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Christian Friendship - and why it really matters
Why REAL Christian friendship, and giving your time is what mattered to Christ
These days I think church - you know - the social club we go to, is more important than actually caring for people for most Christians. I can count the number of Christians I know who would call themselves my friend, that would actually do something for me that required their time, effort or heaven forbid - their money! I feel awkward even asking for anything exept for the latest event rota, or if they wouldn't mind adding me to their prayer list - that great idea where you can pray for everyone at once from the same piece of paper with the same prayer!
Am I being harsh? Good, because something has happened to people in the church today and it seems to correlate exactly with what the Bible predicted and with marvellous inventions like Facebook and MeSpace - sorry MySpace it's not surprising we are all more wrapped up in gossip with our 10,000 unreal friends and keeping up with our neighbours than having real friendships and doing real things for real people.
Time for a new social network: TwitSpace
I think TwitFace, FaceGossip or even Waste-of-SpaceFace might be better names for these sites. These sites reduce us all (yes I've done it) to self centered twits or fools is a nicer more accurate word - the Devil must be juming with glee! Oh dear, I 'poked' a sacred cow - excude the pun!
In the Bible we are told that; "in the last days people will be lovers of self." Now we all assume it's talking about those pesky unbeleivers but in my experience - it applies more to Christians than my secular non-Christian friends. Even if they are insincre in their 'caring' for me (which I don't believe they are) it is alarming to say the least - but not altogether unexpected if we are to take Jesus's warinng seriously.
People will be lovers of self
My non-Christian friends call me to see how I am, ask me if I need anything or if they can hep with such-and such chore or need and so on. My Chrisian 'friends' on the other hand - well they call me alright - but it will be to see if I want to attend the next 'meeting' or conference - or can I do something for them or can I help wth the band at church, fill in for them for a sermon, bring the cakes or help with the coffees after the meeting etc. These people are more like aquainances than friends.
Ask for my prayers or advice - but don't ask for my time
In the chruch today we have this bazar notion that frienship only matters if it is in some way advancing the kingdom - and practcal things don't matter because they won't get you into heaven, and they certainly won't fill more pews at church. Besides - I'm too tied up with church activities to actually come over to your place and help you where you are. No - if you want help - come to church and ask someone else - because I'm running the toddlers group or doinhg the flower arranging.
Jesus gave his time - not weasle words and empty prayers!
Of course I am over playing the situation but it's not far off the truth. Jesus on the other hand served in all the ways that we hardly consider as 21st cetury Christians. He gave up his most valuable thing we all try to keep hold of - his time, his money no doubt if he had any, his comfort and finally his great 'work' - yes Jesus performed 'works' - was giving up his physical body for us!
Jesus reminds us that yes - it IS the practical things he wants us to d for our brothers and sisters in church and also - he said those outsode the church. This is not to be saved but it's simply a command! I know that will come as a shock to many but it's in the text! We ARE to help people who are not Christians - why - so that might would see our GOOD DEEDS (works for all those that thnk we don;'t need to do good works) and be saved!
What is real Friendship?
Well.. C.S.Lewis says friends are people that are travelling in the same direction, have similar aspirations and goals and encourage each other in attaining those goals. Friends are not people that pull you down, they're not people who are jealous (though sometimes that happens). They are people who can handle your talents and gifts and help you to develop them with thoughtful advice and direction.
Genuine friendship means caring and concern and a desire to people develop - not jealousy and frustrating the other persons dreams and desires. Friendship is DOING and not just TALKING. Friendship doesn't always expect something in return. Friendship is criticising only to build up the other party - there is such a thing as positive critisism and as a friend you should be able to accept this kind of help.
How do you Recognise True Friendship?
Friends become so because they recognise similar desires and personality traits in the other person. It's like looking into a mirror - only the reflection is not complete since nobody is completely alike. That's why friends can sometimes share such a strong bond. Especially if they've shared a traumatic or tumultuous experience together. Like old army comraides or school pals.. it's not that you are exactly alike in personality (though that can bring people together) - it's that you shared something together something that profoundly affected you - like a love of a particular type of music or even a football team. You are united in your oursuits or perhaps your past.
Friends sometimes grow apart too - and since friends (in the friendship sence) do not share the same kind of love as lovers do, this is very natural and happens simply because lives and circumstances change.
True Christian Friendship = Accountability & Trust
A true Friendship is had with someone you can trust. Someone you can be accountable with and someone who will not take personal issues outside your friendship. This can be called trust. Trust is the most important factor in any friendship and once broken, its hard to get back to where you started and involves forgiveness - another 'must' in Christian friendship. Unfortunately humans have a tendency to gossip so go easy when telling a new Christian friend all your personal stuff. If it doesnt come back to yu then they can be trusted. First Samuel 20 talks about the friendship of David and Jonathan. These two men cared deeply for each other and trusted and confided in one another. David was running for his life from Jonathan's father Saul but Jonathan recognized David was innocent. Because of their true friendship, David survived Saul's assassination and became Israel's great king.
True Christian Friendship = giving your time!
Friendship involves giving time. Time in this part of the world believe it or not is our most valuable commodity - not money. Giving time = sacrifice and true Christian friendship involves giving some of it away and being generous with it.
True Christian Friendship = Forgiveness
Your friends won't always be your favourites - they will sometimes get on your nerves and you may even wonder why you became friends in the first place - but a true friend will forgive and nurture the relationship.
True Christian friendship in The Bible
In Genesis 18:17-33 you can read about how God is sharing His intentions with Abraham. The reason God and Abraham are able to do this is because they trust and respect each other. Abraham responds by telling God all his thoughts and feelings about this situation he's in.
Jesus give us this example of friendship
(John 18) Peter is afraid for his life after Jesus is led away from the Garden of Gethsemane and denies knowing Jesus. As He is led away, Jesus casts a look toward Peter that says, "I knew you would deny Me, and I forgive you" (John 21).
True Christian friendship seeks NOTHING in return!
Genuine friendship loves not only for what it gets in return. Real friendship looks at the heart, not just package. Genuine Christian friendship overlooks faults and loves unconditionally.
True Christian friendship speaks the truth!
Genuine Christian friendship also means being truthful even if it may hurt (be sensitive - nobodies perfect!) Jesus calls us His friends and laid down His life for us (John 15).
True Christian Friendship is a sign to others of God's presence
Genuine Christian friendship will affect the people around you who will see how you love and care for each other unconditionally!
Are you looking for Christian Friendship?
True Christian friendship can be found at church and online using one of the many Christian friendship services that have appeared in the last few years. Try this for more Christian Friends advice....
Christian Friends advice guide
© copyright 2003. How to find true Christian Friends at fusion101.com Christian friendship servivce online. Written by Fusion101 online singles service - Do not copy without permission.
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