8 Little Arrows in my Quiver

Reflections and Ramblings of a Happily Harried Mom of Many

The Importance of Godly Friendships February 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 8littlearrows @ 2:33 pm

I happened upon a wonderful blog recently that I wanted to share.  It’s called “The Glamorous Life of a Housewife”  (http://glamlifehousewife.blogspot.com).  It’s written by a young wife and mom who loves the Lord and isn’t afraid to show it.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  The most recent post I saw was about the group of godly friends she had growing up, and it was very thought-provoking.  You see, I really didn’t have one single friend growing up who shared my faith and encouraged me to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Even at the “Catholic” college I attended, I didn’t find a close group of truly godly friends.  Without that support and positive peer pressure, unfortunately, I fell away from my faith, and only by the grace of God was I able to rediscover it.

I was listening to a talk recently by Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly, and he said something which really struck me — that whenever you are trying to decide something, ie. whom to include in your close circle of friends, or whether or not to engage in a certain activity, you should ask yourself one question:  Will this person (or this activity) help me to become the best version of myself, the person God wants me to become?  It sounds so simplistic, but I wish I had had a grasp of this concept when I was young.  It’s so hard, in this culture, to stay focused on living this way.  We need each other for support, encouragement, and inspiration.

Jay and I have always tried to stress this with our kids in their choice of friends and activities, but lately I’ve realized something.  Since two of my closest friends moved away in the last couple of years, I no longer have any like-minded friends nearby with whom to have a close, supportive, and challenging relationship.  I have been convicted that I need to start seeking these kinds of friendships more actively, since I’m home with the kids so much.  I need to be intentional about getting out and making friends, not only for my own growth, but also as an example to my children.

One way I have tried to find inspiration is by reading the blogs of other Christian women, and it has been a much-needed shot in the arm for me.  But it’s not enough.  It’s time to get out.  So wish me luck and say a few prayers for me, will ya?  It’s not easy for me, as an introvert, to do it, but I’m committed to it.  And I’m also re-committing to praying for my kids in this area.  I want something better for them than what I grew up with. I’m so appreciative to Whitney at “The Glamorous Life of a Housewife” for painting such a specific picture of the friendships I want my kids to have.  It helps to pray with that picture in mind.  The other thing I’ve realized is that I need to make sure my kids have the opportunity to be involved in the kinds of activities and groups where they will be likely to meet these kinds of friends.  Sports teams are all well and good, but not to the exclusion of activities of a more spiritual nature. We have absolutely nothing going on at our church, so it’s up to us to find other avenues.  We’ve been fortunate to find a good Christian camp and youth group that they can attend, but we are still looking for some Catholic stuff.

On a different, but related, topic, I have also been having some great discussions with my older kids about boy-girl relationships, chastity, etc. and I’ve got some great resources for you if you’ve got tweens or teens.  The first one is the same blog mentioned above.  Check out Whitney’s Love Story on her blog.  If you want a real-life example for your kids of a wholesome, godly approach to the whole “dating” issue, her story provides it.  I was reading it one night and Maggie joined me.  She was floored, as was I.  I’ve read all about this type of thing in theory (“I Kissed Dating Good-bye,” and “Boy Meets Girl,” both by Josh Harris) but this was the first time I encountered a real person who actually accomplished it.  A word of warning, though — she’s not done putting the story up yet, so we’re waiting for the new chapters.  Maggie keeps asking me, “Did she put any more on yet, Mom?”  Please hurry, Whitney! 🙂

For a Catholic resource, check out the novel “Arms of Love,” by Carmen Marcoux.  Maggie couldn’t put it down, and was very impacted by it, both in her Catholic faith and in her desire to practice chastity.  Joe, my 15-year-old, also read it and liked it.  Jay and I decided to include it on our required reading list along with the two aforementioned books and some others.  I’ll post that list at some point,  so stay tuned. Also, check out Carmen’s website www.courtshipnow.com. You’ll find lots of practical and straightforward information about courtship on it.  The kids and I went on it and checked out some of the questions we had.  As parents, we need all the help we can get instilling the right values in our children.  I will post more resources for you as I find them.

God bless!

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3 Responses to “The Importance of Godly Friendships”

  1. Karen Barber Says:

    Colleen,

    I recently started reading your blog, after Naomi mentioned it on facebook. Your post on “godly friends” really resonated with me and I can understand how difficult it is to not have Catholic friends. Good luck in your pursuit to make new friends. For me, growing up in the public school system in a town with 7 churches, most of my friends were from other denominations and were not very godly. Particularly difficult for my friends to understand was the fact that I was practicing chastity, it is interesting that you mentioned the two topics together. At the time though, what was important to me was that they were were loyal, accepted me for who I was, and were supportive. Although, I have to admit that their criticism of my decision stung at times, to the point that I learned not to speak of it openly. I wonder why it bothered them so much? Thankfully, my mother took us to church every week and made sure that we were raised Catholic (my dad is Methodist). Unfortunately, “being Catholic” was just about attending church on Sunday and going to Religious Ed on Saturday mornings. My mother preached chastity and talked often about the perils of couples living together without being married. However, it was more from a perspective of avoiding men who would “only be looking to put another notch in their belt” then because of any religious reasons. If we missed church, we were sent to confession but were not otherwise encouraged to go. It was used more as a punishment rather than the grace I later learned it was meant to be. We never prayed as a family or said grace at the table, although I remember praying a lot on my own growing up. Then I went to catholic college and it was like a whole new world opened up. All of a sudden, people were talking openly about God and it was cool to pray in groups and discuss what it meant to be Catholic and I realized that there was so much more to it than I had ever realized. The ideas that “being Catholic” was more than just attending church and that God belonged in our every day and not just our Sundays were novel ideas to me. Also novel, was that more than half of my friends were also practicing chastity! No more criticism of my decision! It was an amazing experience for me. I am really grateful to the friends that I met at college and to the prayer group that you and Jason held in that tiny apartment for opening up my eyes. I am also grateful, that many of the friends I had at school are still my friends 12 years later. After college and moving to Vermont, it was again difficult to find friends, but I have realized that having one good godly friend that can support you in your faith is more important than having a half a dozen non-godly ones. I hope your search for more godly friends is fruitful.

  2. Naomi Butler Says:

    Hey- always good stuff here. 😉 Really admire your desire to strech a bit esp. since I am an introvert too & can relate to the awkwardness.

    I guess reflecting on my own past, I didn’t necessarily have godly friends/family_(with the exception of my Grandma who WAS my BFF), but I always had friends with whom I could be myself, and who built me up & made me laugh- even if we didn’t get into the nitty gritty about God- (we grew in different ways). After having abandoned some of those relationships, I realized I had sadly walked away from some of the most Christ-like people, though they- (nor I!)- may not necessarily have realized it at the time! It’s tough to find that balance, indeed….

    Welcome to the battle, huh?? 😉 On one hand- now- I find myself connecting more with Ctn’s form other denominations, b/c we’re both open & upfront about our love for JC. My Cath. friends either need to go deeper in thier rela. with Christ, or, it’s honestly a battle to go deeper if they “pick & choose”- (or just plain don’t know or understand)- the beauty of what the Church, if not Sacred Scripture teaches. The challenge then for me is to humbly love them as Christ does, and try to always point them toward Him.

    Though I’d love to share the same passion for our faith- )- I have still become truly thankful for their presence in my lives- even in just knowing that I do not do this motherhood thing alone! Blessings on your step forward! 😉

  3. andrea bouvier Says:

    Hi Coleen,
    Thank you for this post. It’s hits a chord here at my house. I am from Lee, MA and went to catholic grade school, then on to public high school and college. My core of girlfriends growing up was a tight one, then high school came along and it got muddled with the culture of the time (which ties in with the topic of dating you brought up). Ahh, if only I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, and I would have practiced chastity for sure! I think we all would have. I have so many regrets about choices made despite the morals taught by my parents and from church. Hmm, my parents, I believe, trusted that I knew right from wrong and that I would be a good girl. But they didn’t “check-in” on me often enough, they didn’t stay “on my case” enough about what I was doing and where I was going. They trusted me too much, and as a 15 – 20 year-old, I should not have had it; I was very good at telling stories and covering my rear-end. In other words, I lied to them in order to do stuff I should not have done. We (my tight catholic girlfriends) all were. And my parents had no clue! Now that I am a parent of five girls, I know better. Just bought “Love and Responsibility” and “Raising Pure Teens” in preparation for what is to come. As for where we live now, we live in a small town in AZ which a Parish that is wonderful for families. We are blessed in this way. Often when I tell people that my husband and I have 5 girls, they will make a funny comment about the teen years to come, and I say “yes, and we are forming them now -in the virtues -to deal with those years to come.”


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