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3 Essential Qualities to Look for in a Good Friend

3 Essential Qualities to Look for in a Good Friend

My coffee steamed in front of me just the way I like it— sugary, chocolately, topped with whipped cream and just a hint of actual coffee in it. Around my table were three other beautiful and smart women, laughing and drinking their own favorite coffee drinks.

We talked about our dreams of becoming moms one day. We talked about our husbands. We talked about family and college and God and Chipotle burritos, and then we realized it had been more than two hours.

I had needed those two hours. I had needed that jolt of caffeine and friendship, and I was so thankful to have been blessed with their friendship. In adulthood, finding friends is harder than any other stage in life. For me, it had been a long journey to that coffee table, and I’d managed to find three wonderful women who encouraged me and prayed for me. They are the three kinds of friends every woman needs in her life.

My friends are a wonderful blend of all these qualities, and of course, these aren’t the only worthy qualities in a friend, but here are three essential qualities I think every Christian woman should look for in a good friend:

1. A Friend Who Encourages

When I first moved to the Dallas area, I didn’t know anyone. I worked from home. My only contact during the day was my dog and the kind teenager who I visited daily at Sonic for my fix of vanilla Dr Pepper.

My husband and I plugged into a local church and we met a brilliant couple we instantly clicked with. They invited us to lunches and into their home. The wife, who played the piano in the worship, always found me before service to say hello. She asked me about my work and checked in with me about the book I was writing. Then one Sunday, she invited me to join her and a few other girls for an upcoming 5K night run through glowing, colored foam.

That’s how I came to know another wife. We were the short girls on our “team,” and as the foam rose above our heads, we made sure the other didn’t disappear beneath the foam.  We were fast friends after that experience.

When we all meet for coffee or girls’ nights, I feel God guiding our conversations. I hear his voice through these women as they encourage and support one another.

We need a community around us that supports us as we move through life because we weren’t meant to do this alone. Community is meant to be a mirror of God’s grace, and I’m reminded of that in my closest friends. Pray for friends who encourage and support you.

2. A Friend Who Goes Above and Beyond

I have a friend who picked me up after I had a medical test that provoked extreme vertigo and nausea—a friend who will do that is a friend forever.

I had undergone a procedure that tested my balance nerves, and the doctor had said I wouldn’t be able to drive afterwards. My husband had just taken a new job and couldn’t pick me up, so I’d asked a friend of mine, another one of the women who had participated in the 5K, if she could pick me up.

We had a history of car rides. I had once picked her up from a car dealership where she left her car for service, then drove her home and back to my house when she realized she’d left her house keys at the dealer. If that hadn’t cemented our friendship, it was the moment when I came stumbling through the doctor’s office doors, dazed, nauseous and promising not to throw up in her car.

As I recovered from my dizziness, these three women picked me up one afternoon to take me for a vanilla Dr Pepper and a trip to Target— I had been bedridden for days and the outing was exactly what I needed.

Pray for friends who will find ways to love you and support you. They are reminders that God is sovereign and God is good.

3. A Friend Who Prays for You

While doctors ran a battery of tests on me to pinpoint the root of my dizziness, I worried. There was talk of an MRI and the word “tumor” was said. Leading up to my MRI, my friends stepped up in prayer for me.

A few days before the MRI, one of my friends and her husband stopped by with a meal and prayed over my husband and me. Knowing I was petrified, these women sent me text messages the night before with words of encouragement and promises of prayer.

These last few months have been rocked with change and devastating news for all of us, and through it all, we’ve been praying for each other. We need friends that pray for us because that leads us closer to Christ, and because sometimes, it’s just too hard to pray for ourselves. Pray for friends who will pray for you.

Friendship is a blessing

I’m thankful for these women. I’m thankful that I get to experience the blessing of friendship and get to see Christ in them. My prayer is that the world sees Christ in our friendship too.

A few weeks ago, the four of us made plans to treat ourselves to summer pedicures. As we all settled into our high-backed chairs, one of the employees asked, “Are you all friends?”

I smiled.  

“Yeah, we are.”

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Texas with her husband. Previously, she worked for the Galveston County Daily News, the Houston Chronicle, the Abilene Reporter-News and the Lufkin Daily News. Currently, she is a team member for HeartSupport, a nonprofit community for young adults. Her website is at http://tx.ag/casanova and you can find her on Twitter @acasanova10.