Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Not Alone Series: friendly love

This week the topic is "Love within Friendship".
We talk a lot about romantic love, so it's a nice change of pace :)

I will be the first to say that love within friendship is different from romantic love. But regardless of the type of relationship, this love should be present.

Why? Well, because Jesus told us....

"This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:12,13

Guess what, people? Loving your friends can be hard - no, scratch that, it WILL be hard. But look at what Jesus says! We're meant to lay down our lives for our friends! 
Laying down our lives - whether that be in the form of holding them accountable, or in sacrificing your "free time" to invest in your relationship, or in learning to stretch and grow into a new "season" of you friendship after one of you gets married or has a baby.

Being a good friend...and LOVING your friends isn't always easy. It takes effort.

One of my favorite and least favorite ways to love my friends is through accountability.
It's my least favorite because it's hard and sometimes awkward and potentially hurtful.
But it's my favorite because it's true love. Accountability helps build my friends up in an eternal way.

A good friend doesn't just sit idly by and watch their friend live their life in a way that isn't building them up.
A good friend challenges them to be better. THAT is how we love them! Real love of a friend isn't appeasing them or "accepting" them no matter what. A good, loving friend is one who seeks to constantly help his/her friend get closer to heaven. 

And I know that not saying anything when my friend is nearing alcoholism is not loving them.
Not saying anything when my friend is in a relationship that isn't good for her soul is not loving her.
Not saying anything when my friend has stopped attending mass on a regular basis is not loving them.
Not saying anything when my friend decides to live with his girlfriend before marriage is not loving him.

These conversations might definitely will be awkward. 
Someone might walk away hurt or angry. But in doing everything with love, I've found that those who are hurt or angry eventually see that you were only trying to love them in the most authentic way you could.

Calling a friend to something higher than what they're living isn't judgmental, it's LOVE.

I hope this makes sense....and if not, maybe I can clarify in a later post. Or, if you disagree with me, leave me a comment! This week has already left my brain feeling fried and it's only Tuesday when you're reading this and only Monday when I wrote this...

Link up below with your perspective on love in friendship!


Next week's topic:
Answer the following questions so we can get to know one another a bit better!
1. Age
2. Area of country (be as specific or vague as your comfort levels allow :)
3. # of previous relationships (....as in, at least "FB official")
4. What do you do with your life? School? Work? Both? Neither?
5. What's your family like? (let's see some pics!)
6. How did your parents meet? (tell us the story!)
7. Confirmation saint name and why (if you were Catholic at that point in your journey)
8. Favorite Gospel?
9. What are the top three qualities you're looking for in a husband? (who knows, maybe one of us has a cousin or friend to connect you with! ;)
10. If you've done online dating, do you have any advice or experiences to share?
11. Tweetable single-lady advice (140 characters or less of what you'd say to other single ladies)
12. What is your favorite thing to do outside of blogging and work/school?

8/6: Peace
Where do you find it and how do you keep it?
(inspired by Jen's Follow the Peace post)

8/13: Should/can women pursue men?
What do you think? Any and all perspectives welcome!!!


  1. I agree 100%. Accountability is essential for love!

  2. Calling a friend to something higher than what they're living isn't judgmental, it's LOVE. - This is so true and you are right it is hard and awkward but it is very important. Love this post!!!!!

  3. So, I agree with you--like my brain accepts the concept of fraternal correction, but whooo boy is it hard not to sometimes think that this means you might have very few--if any--friends outside the Church. I certainly hope the witness from my life and my gentle faith-informed advice counts, and I like to believe that's why my friendships with non-believers survive--because I demonstrate I will stay their friend...and it doesn't hurt when my speaking up, while faith-informed, meets them where they're at with their spiritual lives and beliefs. But is that okay? To know in your heart you're trying to care for her soul, but not say out loud "soul," because she doesn't really believe in all that?

    1. I know exactly how you feel! For me, I think in some cases the best way to help them can be to show by your example and life. I will bring up my faith to those friends and try to show them through my life but I know that directly saying something related to faith may not help because they don't believe yet or are away from the church. In some cases I think love can be just gentle nudging over time, being firm in what is right and wrong but also loving them by still being their friend.

    2. I definitely think that there's a place for fraternal correction within non-religious friendships (secular friendships? I'm not sure how to distinguish...). Even between two people who aren't Christians there's a good amount of that kind of love....like, if one friend sees that the other is sleeping around in a kind of "rebound" fashion, he might step in to talk to his friend about it...maybe not using "soul" terms as one would with a friend within the Church, but in saying things about how it's not helping to make things better, how he needs to figure out who he is on his own, etc. Does that make sense?

      I think it's super important to meet people where they're at...but always trying to help them to rise up higher. It takes some practice finding different words to compensate for "Christian" words (ex: using "heart" instead of "soul") but in the end, it's essentially the same goal. Feeding your friend's hearts with Truth when they don't even know that's what they're seeking...it's awesome. Like a secret mission :)

  4. I loved this post! I do agree with you that to love a friend is to help them and not just let things go but it can be one of the hardest things to do!! I've had many friends before get very upset and angry when I've had to disagree with them about different issues in the past and it can be heartbreaking but you can't help someone you love if your too scared to say something!

  5. YES. To everything. I love it. It's so very true... holding your friends and challenging them IS one of the best ways to love them. For all of your friends. But, even your Christian friends... to strive for holiness. To live our life for Christ... to help each other do that, as well. Of course... it's not easy. Sometimes it sucks, but love isn't easy. This life we have chosen to live isn't easy, either. :)

    Great job, dear!


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