My bestie was Cameroonian. When she died I was left heartbroken. Picking up pieces of what was left of our friendship was hard. During her pain and sickness, we had prayed and hoped for that miracle. But God had better plans: taking her home.
What I have to cherish are fond memories, pictures, laughter and joys of our friendship. We were both from different countries, differing backgrounds but we had a common ground. Friendships whether cross cultural or interracial is first founded upon respect and true love.
Are you familiar with Ruth and Naomi’s story?
Study how a remarkable bond forms between these two women from completely different backgrounds, different age brackets and different cultures.
Bible Reading: Ruth 1
Lesson 1: To nurture a thriving friendship, we should learn to live and love truly with all our hearts.
Ponder: Do you want friendships that last long?
If yes, then it is high time to be intentional with the whole friendship thing. It has to be built on trust, value and respect. True friends know you. Whether through thick or thin, the respect and value they have for you never depreciates. A pure love that is selfless and not self-seeking.
Lesson 2: It did not take a day but neither did it take a life time either to build the bond. True friendship is a journey. But it starts with an open heart, authenticity, value and respect for each other.
Ponder: What did Naomi do to deserve such kindness from Ruth? When we open our hands, others can reach us.
Notice how she expresses gratitude and blesses both daughter in laws.
Lesson 3: Orpah did not do badly as a friend or a daughter in law. Perhaps, you and I, may have judged her harshly. She played her role.
The truth is, there will be “Orpahs” in our lives. Not every good friend is built for the long haul. Naomi blessed her too.
Every friend in your life has a purpose and this maybe for a certain season.
Same goes for you, friend. You have an assignment to fulfill in the lives of your friends. When they leave we should appreciate them for the good they did and remember them for that which they did right.
Lesson 4: There will be “Ruths”. Who is a Companion friend? 👉She is the one who wants to see you back on your feet again. 👉She is there with you praying and encouraging all the way. 👉She is there fighting on her knees for you. 👉She is the one excited to see you succeed.
Finding Your Ruth
We find friends in unlikely places from within our family settings, workplace, church, neighborhood etc. Who would have thought friendship would exist between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law let alone flourish. But yes! They both proved it is possible!
Notice how kindly Naomi spoke to the ladies. She must have been kind to the ladies. Mutual kindness gives room for friendship to flourish. They must have had their own issues but we see patience as Ruth doggedly follows the older woman.
You too can be a Ruth today. We can make the choice to make life easier for the other woman.
Ponder: What do you think would happen if every woman would support her fellow sister overcome life battles?
Make Room for what matters
Your girlfriends matter. Marriage, motherhood, career, studies,
Being first time moms, pregnancy, motherhood and even finding room to balance life seemed like an uphill task. My dear friend and I had splendid a adventure gaining entree into this realm of motherhood and a world full of surprises. From parenting magazines, baby shopping, mom essentials, finding new parenting fares to visit, my bestie made new mom life a fun experience.
Your girlfriends have their own precious place in your life. There are experiences unique to women that only a woman like you can understand.
Being there for them requires that you make room in your busy schedule to be the friend you desire others to be. Whatever we give into supporting others, will surely be given back to us. It took a lot for Ruth to sacrifice her time, leave her people, pack her bags and come along with Naomi.
Lesson 5: Sometimes making room for others demands that we go out of our way.
- List three lessons you learnt from their friendship.
- What issues have made friendship difficult for you? Are there specific attitudes that upset your friendships? Write your biggest turnoffs in past friendships.
- Call or send a message to friends who have been with you through difficult times. Tell them you are grateful for their support.