“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling?’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless – a miserable business!
Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This week I’ve had the blessing of being able to spend a lot of time with friends and the Lord has brought such joy to my heart through these encounters. This led me to seek out and meditate on what God’s Word says about friendship, and I’d like to share that with you.
Ecclesiastes is a book all about King Solomon, the King who, when given the option to be granted any wish by God, chose the gift of wisdom. In this book, Solomon attempts to explore everything the world has to offer in every area, in the end finding that no earthly thing could satisfy him. He was the richest man ever, and yet he could find no peace. It really was a lot like a scientific experiment, with Ecclesiastes being his journal of findings. In the end he declares, “Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless under the sun.”
These verses describe a way to give meaning to friendship by making them not about what’s under the sun, but rather the One who’s above it.
The purposes of friendship are explained in these verses above, beginning with a good return for labor. Sowing and reaping is referenced many times in the Bible, and the same concept is applied here. This of course implies that in friendship we are meant to serve others alongside each other, as our harvest is much greater than if we worked on our own. Serving with your friends will not only strengthen your friendship, but it glorifies God in the greater harvest you’re able to reap.
So the first purpose of friendship is to serve others together, and as you continue to read you’ll find that the second is to serve one another. This verse gives the examples of helping the other person up when they fall and warming each other. These are both things you can’t do on your own, as the verse even says “But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” and “How can one keep warm alone?” This is the Biblical basis for the necessity of friendship. Without any partners, we cannot run the good race to our fullest potential.
The last part of these verses say that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. This is often used in weddings to symbolize a husband and wife being joined together by God, the third strand. This is true in friendships too! Christians should not only be friends with other Christians. If that was so, how would anyone ever hear the Truth? What we need to do though is have our closest confidants be fellow believers, as stated by this verse explaining binding two cords together by the common thread of Christ. There is a special bond that is infinitely stronger when the Lord is stepping in as the third cord.
I want to especially speak to the other young Christian girls out there because friendships in middle school and high school are going to be hard, I’m not going to lie. if you aren’t intentional about following God’s directives for your most intimate friendships, you might find yourself surrounded by people who tear you down or don’t show you love. This is not what God intended for you! Seek out other believers, serve others together, and serve them by loving them. God has given you these instructions as tools to build meaningful and God-honoring friendships with Him as the third cord!
He desires greater things for you beloved, know that what He says is good and true.