Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Journey Through Life with Christ-like Friendships

The Girlfriend's Guidebook by best-selling author Marian Jordan is an excellent resource for women striving to achieve more meaningful Christian friendships with one another. In this vade mecum, Jordan uses examples of real life traveling abroad experiences with girlfriends to demonstrate some of the obstacles women face in their female relationships, and she maps out a plan for overcoming these difficulties. Below is a list of what I found to be the highlights of her book.

1. No friendship should be more important than your relationship with God. Jordan says, "When you and I hand over the power to make ourselves feel secure to another person, we make an idol of that person." Relational idolatry leads to dysfunctional friendships with negative characteristics of "guilt, fear, manipulation, exhausting demands, and general lack of freedom." No person should be used as a means of boosting our feelings of self-worth and value. People always let us down because we are not perfect. God will never let us down.

2. Emotional baggage can block us off from God's true intention of friendship in our lives. "Unhealed wounds ring alarm bells, triggering our internal flight or fight mechanism, otherwise known as fear," states Jordan. In the book, a list of roles women take on as ways of dealing with their past helps us identify our behavior in relationships (drama queen, center of attention, victim, fake, etc). Since we all have some degree of baggage, Jordan invites us to own our baggage and seek healing from Jesus. Then we will be rewarded with Christian friendships.

3. Characteristics of a true Christian friend can be found in the Bible; Jordan gives us a list of the top ten. They include loyalty, trustworthiness, encouragement, genuineness, connectedness, integrity, compassion, kindness, grace/forgiveness and love/selflessness. Love is "seeking the best for others" which could mean confronting a friend when she has a problem rather than ignoring it because you don't want to hurt her feelings. True friends want the best for one another.

I highly recommend this book for all women seeking more meaningful Christ-like friendships in their lives. Marian Jordan is an excellent writer who uses her own experience mixed in with Bible versus and notable quotes to support her purpose. You can learn more about her at Redeemed Girl Ministries which she founded, or on her website.

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