Friends Forever – What Comes in a Way of Friendship?

In her book Psychology of Gender, Vicki S. Helgeson stated that friendship plays a great role in the lives of the youth. Most studies show that girls and boys have a network of friends similar in size and structure. Ladies are more likely to have a best friend and their relationships are more exclusive than boys. This makes it more difficult to join girls group than boys group.

Helgeson also found out in her research that female friendship appears more holistic than male friendship. Men tend to compartmentalize their friends, having different friends for different activities. Besides men’s friendships are more overtly competitive than women’s friendships.

In her research she also asked people what they want from a friend. People need trust authenticity, intimacy, support, equal status and equal power. Men tend to define intimacy as shared experiences while women tend to define it as self-disclosure.

Getting married, becoming a parent, building a career, retiring and widowhood are all examples of structural issues that may influence friendships for women and men.

The Bible teaches that some friendships are fleeting and some are lasting. True friendships are glued together with bonds of loyalty and commitment. They remain intact, despite changing external circumstances like David and Jonathan. There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends. 1 Samuel 18:1

However, as the Bible continues, there are things that get in the way of friendship. Jealousy is the great dividing force of friendships. This was happening between King Saul and David. At first it was like this: Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander in his army, an appointment that was applauded by the fighting men and officers alike.

But says the Bible But something happened when the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed Goliath. Women came out from all the towns along the way to celebrate and to cheer for King Saul, and they sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” 1 Samuel 18:5-7

King Saul couldn’t resist this situation. This made Saul very angry … So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:8-9 Envy over what a friend has will soon turn to anger and bitterness, causing you to separate yourself from the one you truly cared for.

The Bible also adds that God is our constant friend and will never leave us. It seems weird that how people could be friends of God. But if you let him to be, he will definitely be your friend.

I no longer call you servants … Now you are my friends. John 15:15

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