What is a friend and a helper?

Posted by Page Phelps | | Posted On Friday, June 5, 2009 at 11:26 AM

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

"Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. James 2:23

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:1-2

Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. I Samuel 16:7

Hmmmm, What is a friend and a helper? Well, here is a definition I found on-line:

friend

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

Added here is the history of the word: A friend is a lover, literally.  The relationship between Latin amcus "friend" and am "I love" is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos "friend" and phile "I love."  In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, frond, the Old English word for "friend," was simply the present participle of the verb fron, "to love." The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr-, which meant "to like, love, be friendly to." Closely linked to these concepts is that of "peace," and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, "peaceful ruler," and Siegfried, "victory peace." The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, "day of Frigg," from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris dis, "day of Venus."

So how do you teach this to befriend and to be a friend? Today we had a Bible study on Hebrews 13:1-2, I was telling my boys about loving others and we also talked about their Sunday school lesson last week on Elisha and the family that added a room for him so when he was in town he had a place to stay and how that must have made Elisha happy and feel welcomed. So anyhow, I thought to myself..........I want my boys & Maggie Beth (but she was napping) to have genuine friends and friendships. And you know as defined above most friendships are merely #1 - a person whom one knows, likes, I am not going to the trust part just yet, because most friendships are an acquaintance and I do not really trust acquaintances at first. And sadly enough, this is where we spend most of our time in "friendships" and not really moving past that to a deeper level of sympathy, or be allied in a struggle to create a more intimate relationship with one another. It seems that we wait to see if we feel "safe" with that friend/acquaintance in order to perceive their "realness" factor and if we can trust them. When I see in the Bible that Abraham was called a friend of God, I think to myself wow, now that must have been the ULTIMATE friendship.........but Abraham I am sure let God down, being imperfect and all. So I think also one thing I need to teach my kids is to remember to accept the imperfections as they befriend and align with another as a friend. I too as an adult have to remember to accept those imperfections. So what are the qualities I want to teach and portray as a friend: trustworthiness, reliability (something I feel is lacking among my generation), willing to help, asking God to help me and my children to not look at the outward appearance but at the heart, to have pure motivations, to love unconditionally, to not judge, to be there. I am sure I can come up with more things, but that is a pretty good list for now. Why these qualities because I think they make a good friend. Hopefully, with God's help I can portray these things to my friends and to my children.  Thank you Lord for being my best friend. And thank you for the friend I have in my precious husband. Thank you Lord!

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