Why Friendship is Worth Fighting For

It was a sunny, Southern California, summer day and there was ample time to adventure. Like little girls did before cell phones, I dialed up the landline and asked my friend to come out and play.

The new girl in the neighborhood had beat me to her, but after a little rustling on the line, they said I could join them. Since it was the 1980’s, my mom didn’t give it a second thought when I skipped out the door to head up the street.

“We want to talk to you,” the two girls said as I joined them on the front porch. “We’ve decided we don’t want to be your friends anymore.” 

I wore all the emotional maturity of eleven and so did they, and it wasn’t but a day or two before they revoked that declaration to unfriend me. BUT … I remember wondering what the new girl had that I didn’t. I remember being bruised by the fact that I had come first in friendship, and my friend should have fought for me.

Do you ever wish someone would fight for you?

Friendship can feel hard, especially if you wear the bruises of past hurt and disappointment. But sometimes, the real reward is in giving, not receiving. | Friendship | Faith | Hope | Encouragement | {www.simplyforone.net} http://wp.me/p2v8DX-MI

In the past weeks, I’ve had a few friends say “thanks for not giving up on me.” Because I didn’t quit when schedules wouldn’t line up, or they didn’t return a text, or they said “let’s get together” but never came through. I didn’t give up.

What they likely don’t know is that fight knocks the wind out of me every single time. Maybe it’s because I was that little girl on the porch, or the grown up woman who believed in friendship and wasn’t fought for, but that no-quit attitude is an act of obedience and a battle of will.

Be the someone you need someone to be.

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God wrote those words of selflessness over my heart last year as I complained about friendship and just how stinkin’ hard it can feel. He instructed when I admitted that, while I had my own unreal expectations and friendship flaws to bare, my heart was fragile and full of an itty-bitty, enormous amount of terror at the idea of pursuing new friends.

“Because who fought for me, Lord?”

“I did.” He said.

This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.
This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.
John 15:12-13 MSG

Jesus gave His life as the greatest expression of love. Maybe our sacrifice—our put it all on the line gesture—is to call even when they don’t call back. Or to send another text, and another after that. Maybe we swallow our pride, preconceived notions, and they-like-me-they-like-me-not ponders and fight anyway.

It won’t be easy. Worthy battles rarely are. There will always be a way-down whisper that says, “Stop. Give up. If they really cared, they’d show it.” But those lies are written by an enemy who would love us to quit all light, and hope, and goodness.

God replaces lies with truth. “Go on. Keep trying. Don’t you just treasure it when someone fights for you? I did for you, and you can too.”

Who can you fight for?

It’s been thirty years since “the porch incident” but I still remember it, and I think that says something about the power of friendship, and kindness, and fighting for both.

Sometimes the reward we receive is the friendship we give.

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And I love that prize, but I also know that sometimes the real battle is the one to let go. When wisdom says we don’t enable, or patronize, or wear ourselves ragged being everything to everyone. When we don’t pursue relationships God would sooner see removed. Sometimes that fight is better left to God.

But sometimes, and I like this far better, it means we’re quite simply the someone we need someone to be. Sometimes it means we go wild and crazy on a sunny, summer day and march straight up to that front porch and promise friendship. 

By His endless grace,

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You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Jennifer Dukes LeeHolley GerthKristin Hill Taylor3dlessons4life, Heart Encouragement Thursday, and Arabah Joy’s Grace & Truth.

51 thoughts on “Why Friendship is Worth Fighting For

    1. That’s a question I ask often, Natalie. Often, it’s what spurs me on to reach out when that whisper says I’m a bother or intruding on a new friend. I love when people reach into my life just to say hi, or let me know they’re thinking of me…so I can do it too! It’s really changed my perspective on friendship. 💛

  1. I love the story you you’ve shared here Tiffany. It is amazing the things we remember from our childhood that continues to affect our thinking at times. I thank God for those lessons. They are part of whom He has made me to be thus far. I have known my best friend for almost half my life. His friendship is a gift from God. We do all we can to foster our friendship over the years. Like you said, I try to be the friend I want others to be not only towards him, but other friends as well. This is how we can show the l world the love of Christ. Thank you for giving us a glimpse and sharing your story friend.I hope you have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors.

  2. This is so good and honest and true, Tiffany. Encouraging to me. Most of my friends are younger than I am, and that often means they wait for me to reach out to them, and sometimes I get all insecure inside. :) But I think you’re so right in suggesting we BE the friend we want to HAVE. I’m grateful for all my friendships though.

    1. I know those insecurities well, Betsy. But, you are likely creating a beautiful pattern for your young friends and exemplifying all that is special in friendship. That can require a lot of effort, but the reward will be so far reaching in their lives and yours. xoxo

  3. My almost 11 year old is caught in the middle of girl drama. Though she isn’t being ditched, it is hard to watch her friends fight. It takes me back to those days in the ’80’s, that’s for sure!

  4. I loved this post. Honestly fighting for friendship is more my style. I am the one that usually gets us together, keeps things going, etc. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for stopping by my blog I am glad it led me to yours. Maree

    1. Thanks for the visit, Maree. That sounds like me too…it can be a little wearying, but the payoff comes in that quality time with friends. But like you wrote, we have to know when God is leading us to tow that line, and be willing to let go. So glad to meet you!

  5. Hi Tiffany,
    There’s so much goodness in this post (as always!) but I was thinking about letting God fight for us — in many ways — and sometimes we just have to take that space and give him room to work before we go back at it again, I think. I find it’s sometimes hard to know which way to move!

    But I can imagine the hurtful scene on the porch back in your girlhood — oh girls can hurt each other like no one else can! But kindness and grace and love are always the characteristics to act on, when it come to just about anything in our lives. Love these words and you, Tiffany! xoxo

    1. So true, Valerie. Sometimes we really do have to release the fight to God. A verse I love is Exodus 14:14 – God will fight for you. You need only be still. Stillness and surrender aren’t easy – but God is always the victor. Thanks so much for visiting, Valerie. Big hugs!!

  6. Yes, yes. Gosh, there have been so many times I’m the one fighting for people, to be intentional with our plans, and to make sure seasons don’t make friendships disappear. Admittedly, I wish people would fight for me (or, really, more precisely for time with me … obviously, quality time is my love language!). This post is so important, Tiffany. Thanks for sharing and for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Yes, I think some of us just have that desire and drive to bring people together. It would certainly give us a little rest to be fought for from time to time, right?! :) But if the end goal is friendship the work just needs to be done. Grateful for you, friend. Glad I get to “see” you every Wed!!! xo

  7. I remember those front porch days vividly. It seems our group took turns making alliances and choosing who would be left out next. I never fought for my friends. I wish I had. But I’m so touched by your point here, knowing Jesus fought for us. Wow! What an amazing message, Tiffany!

    1. Thank you, Kristine. Kind of makes you want to gather up little girls everywhere and share the message, right?! Tshirts perhaps! ;) So grateful for God’s timing, design, and encouragement to keep fighting. Hugs, friend.

  8. It’s easier to give up then to offer friendship, but God’s way is better when we do it with His strength and not our own. As always, I love your sweetness and willingness to listen for God’s voice. Visiting from my inbox and #tellhisstory :)

  9. How sad to have to hear those words at any age. :( I’m sure I both said and heard them when I was younger too. I’m so grateful that the Lord has never given up on us! May we pass that grace on to others in our relationships. I’m supposed to reconnect with a friend today that I haven’t seen in five years and I am so excited! Thanks for sharing this, Tiffany. It’s relevant.

  10. I can’t love this enough Tiffany! It’s like you’re writing my journal but from a few years and a lot of wisdom ahead. Thanks for offering this convicting insight into what friendship takes and what God calls us to in relationship. What a blessing you are!

    1. So glad you found wisdom here, Bethany. Friendship, like any relationship, is an investment – and sometimes we have to be the one who puts a bit more down. :) Wishing you big dividends in your treasured friendships. Hugs!

  11. I’ve felt that way often lately about my friends . . . thanks for not giving up on me! Because sometimes life picks up speed and before I know it, several months have gone by without time spent together. Real friends fight for that friendship though! Love it, Tiffany.

  12. I’m so sorry your friend didn’t fight for you, Tiffany. Those rejections can hurt so deeply. This line gives me comfort – “Sometimes that fight is better left to God.” So true. Love and hugs!

  13. I’m glad I read your post today. There is a friendship I’ve been fighting for for a while and have come close to giving up on, but this encourages me to try a bit longer. I love your advice to “be the someone you need someone to be.”

    1. I’m glad you found encouragement here, Lesley. I know that fight isn’t easy, and I hope that you see the fruit of your effort soon – or at the very least get the opportunity to ask, “Hey, what gives?” ;) Thanks for being here today.

  14. The Lord blessed me with a mom who was always a forever friend to her friends, even if she had to take the initiative to schedule things. Somehow I internalized that role modeling she gave me. Time and distance are not reasons to no longer be friends with someone in my way of thinking. The Holy Spirit bridges the gap between me and my Christian sisters who have moved away. Giving up on a friend is not an option for me unless God, knowing they are bad for me, knocks them away from me Himself.

    1. What a beautiful pattern your mom set for you on the value of friendship and the effort it takes to keep friends close. I love when the Holy Spirit gives us that little “keep trying” nudge.

  15. Tiffany, what is it about those middle-school rejections that leave such long-lasting scars? I have some of my own that took decades to fade, much more so than the ones that happened in high school. Maybe it’s because middle school is such an insecure time? Whatever the case, I love your encouragement to “be the someone you need someone to be.” That is so profound. It’s hard, but yes … we CAN love unconditionally because we have Someone who loves us unconditionally. Much to ponder here, my friend. Thank you. :-)

    1. I know, right … those are tender years and for some reason this memory rose to the surface when I was pondering friendship … again! It can be REALLY hard to nurture friendship, a bit of a balancing act even, but there’s really beauty when we get it right. Love you, friend – seeing you here always blesses me and I truly appreciate your faithful encouragement.

  16. Great post, Tiffany! Most of my best friends live in different states, so it can get dicey trying to communicate and keep in touch. But friendship is always worth fighting for! I truly believe that! Thanks for the reminder to fight for others today and every day.

  17. Great perspective, Tiffany. I’m learning a lot about friendship as I not only walk through the continuous doors of it’s challenges in my own life, but help my daughter through hers. It’s equally as eye-opening. God is challenging me to find the light in each friendship, and teaching me where to spend my time. It can be a friendship jungle out there! Happy Wednesday, friend! #CoffeeForYouHeart linkup.
    Megs

    1. A jungle indeed! And yes, navigating it along side our kiddos can be an extremely treacherous journey. Add the girl element and friend, keep your hands in the vehicle at all times because sometimes, they bite! ;) But Megs, how beautiful will it be to raise up a generation of girls who treasure friendship, kindness, and are willing to fight for it with Jesus at their back. You’re doing kingdom work, mama! xoxo

  18. Tiffany, all the yeses to this post. It is so hard when people won’t fight for you. I have learned and been blessed by those who have fought for me. And so MUCH THIS: “But sometimes, and I like this far better, it means we’re quite simply the someone we need someone to be. Sometimes it means we go wild and crazy on a sunny, summer day and march straight up to that front porch and promise friendship. ” Blessed to be your neighbor at Three Word Wednesday today!

    1. It is hard, Tara, when folks don’t fight. There’s some healing that has to happen there, but prayerfully it also inspires to go on and fight another day for what we value most. So glad you were my neighbor today!

  19. Great post and thanks for sharing. I am building some new friendships through my church and recovery class. For so long (20 years) I worshiped women over God and it always turned out horribly… With God first in my life I’m reminded that iron sharpens iron and I am out to be iron for some guys who need me as much as I need them.

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