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Are They Really Your Friend?

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In today’s society, people enter into relationships and marriages with individuals they erroneously perceived were their friends. The devastation of their bad choices reverberates through the divorce courts and countless failed relationships. What is a Friend and how many of us have them? Dane Cunningham, author of “Risky Relationships” answers those questions as he takes us on the much needed journey of learning to identify true friends.

by Dane Cunningham

I Thought You Were My Friend?
Have you ever thought someone was your friend only to later find out that the person was your enemy? God takes friendship so seriously that in the biblical record of the Old Testament He only referred to two people as "friend". Those two people were Abraham and Moses.

The reason that most of us falsely identify people as friends is because we do not use God's standard to measure true friendship. So often we call people that we like "friends" when in reality they are "acquaintances" or "associates."

Friendship from the biblical perspective can best be described as a personal relationship between two parties where there is a God ordained covenant, unconditional love, reciprocal giving, and mutual trust.

When you reflect on those you call friends how many of them meet that standard? What binds friends together is their covenant. A covenant is like a contract but more serious. A covenant is an agreement between two parties that is binding by God, whereas a contract is an agreement between two parties that is binding by an attorney.

Although marriage is the primary covenant relationship next to God, friendships are next in importance. If married people were truly friends there would be fewer incidences of divorce because they would have practiced the principle of covenant before they got married. The people who are involved in a covenant friendship are faithful to one another because they believe that God has ordained their relationship.

Unconditional Love; The Secret Ingredient
The foundation for covenant is unconditional love. You may not always like your friend but God requires you to love them. This is not the emotional touchy feely type of love but the type of love God expresses to us unconditionally. This type of love is an attitude that expresses itself in sacrifice when you have a need, patience when required, and kindness regardless as to the circumstances.

Love is important because the fire of adversity will test all friendships. A tea bag has to be heated up before it can become a refreshing glass of tea. Likewise a relationship has to go through trials before it can qualify as a friendship. Love is the foundation during those difficult times.

The love that you have for your friend will motivate you to give when they are in need. If your friend has a need and you have the ability to share, then it is your responsibility to meet that need.

Your friend may not have the same ability to give as you do. Giving's motivation should always be love without a hidden agenda. Trust is the security and confidence that you acquire over time.

The Perfect Friend…
Nobody is perfect including your best friend; therefore your primary trust should be in God. God will lead you to a friend that you can have confidence in because their trust is in Him. Would you take off your clothes in the presence of your friend? If the answer is “no,” it is probably because you do not trust them.

You know that they are your friend when you can emotionally take off the clothes that you use to hide who you really are underneath and share your heart without having to worry about your confidence being violated.

A friend is not just a person that you like. A friend is a person that God has ordained a covenant with unconditional love, with giving and they have proven that they can be trusted. If you can look back at your life and call two people, “friends,” you have been blessed.

How many friends have you had?

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by Dane Cunningham

Dane Cunningham Dane Cunningham is one busy man! He is CEO of (E.R.S.) Embrace Relationships Seminars where he addresses adult relationships from the biblical perspective through life changing teaching sessions. He is also the Singles' Director at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, pastored by Bishop Eddie Long. A prolific writer, Cunningham is the author of: Take a Look Within and Risky Relationships. You can visit his website at:

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© Dane Cunningham. 2005
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