When my son got in a car accident one of my first instincts was to tell my best friend! She shares most of the important events in my life. We celebrate, what we call our ‘friendship anniversary’ in February. I like to think of my friend as a different kind of Valentine. She holds a piece of my heart, as most good friends do. My husband is a wonderful man, but girlfriends speak to a different part of our personality. I would like to share the advice I give my own daughters about choosing their friends.
1/ Choose holy women who will help guide you in faith. Consider the story of Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16). When Ruth finds herself widowed, the custom would have been to return to her own people. Instead she begged her mother-in-law to keep her, stating, “Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” We all need women in our lives who can show us what it means to live out our vocations as wives, mothers, and women of God.
Another of my closest friends is also my accountability partner. We try to share our struggles in a way that we can encourage each other. Rather than tearing our other relationships down, by gossiping, complaining or speaking ill of our children, husbands or others in our lives, we provide each other with insights, truths and advice in a godly (Proverbs 31) type of way. We openly share our difficulties and keep a check on where each of us is in overcoming these temptations.. My friend and I pray for each other, we offer Masses and sacrifices when especially needed. She is the first to tell me when she sees me slipping in my vocation and often reminds me of the grace of Confession.
2 Choose friends that compliment your personality. Martha and Mary were sisters who seemed to adopt different roles in their family. Martha was the worker bee, even complaining to Jesus that her sister wouldn’t help. Mary was the introspective one, happy to sit and listen at Christ’s feet. (Luke 10:42) The challenges of their differences probably taught them to adopt some of the best of each other’s traits. Sisters are often our closest friends, and some of our friends seem more like sisters.
3/ Surround yourself with a few good friends who will suffer with you and hold you up during your struggles. I can almost see Mary (mother of Jesus) and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross together. (John 19:25) They are holding each other up, suffering, grieving and praying together. They trust God and their friendship to get through whatever comes next. I pray that my daughters have friends like that in their lives.
4/ Find friends who don’t mind pitching in and helping when you need it. My friends have helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. Bringing meals, lending a loving ear, even taking my kids when I needed a break. Like Mary visiting Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45), they have brought me real assistance when I have needed it. Faith without works is dead, and good friends demonstrate this in very practical ways.
Godly relationships help us to grow in holiness. They strengthen us in our vocations as wives and mothers. So this Valentine’s Day we remember the special women in our lives who share love with us in a unique and precious way. We want women in our lives who will help us get a step closer to heaven!
Copyright 2015 Mary Lou Rosien
Image Credit: Mary Lou Rosien