By: Sharon Witt

‘A friend is a gift you give yourself’ Robert Louis Stevenson

Where would we be without our friends?

I know that the world would be a pretty lonely place if we all just simply existed and didn’t have these special relationships with friends.

Friendships are a God given gift- there is no doubt about it.

Friends are there to help us celebrate when things go well, for example, you get first prize in an Art competition or you have a new baby brother or sister. True friends are happy for us when things like this happen.

Friends are also important when things aren’t perhaps going so well, for example you lose a pet or you get a nasty case of the Chickenpox. Great friends do all they can to cheer each other up, lend a listening ear and just BE with you.

Throughout my life so far, I have had many different friendships. Some of them have lasted a year, some of them were for a season (such as just through Primary School) and some have lasted for years and years!

The important thing to remember is, all friendships, no matter how long they last are there for a season and a reason.

Some friendships might be especially important while we are settling into a brand new school, whilst others might come about because you share a hospital room together for a short time. Other friendships might have begun from when you began pre-school, whilst others may have naturally developed because you live in the exact same street or live close by.

However you meet a new friend, appreciate it as a gift.

We never know how long a friendship may last, but if you are really lucky, some may just last you a lifetime.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? Thought I was the only one.”

C. S. Lewis

Qualities of a Good Friend

‘Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other.’

1 Thessalonians 5:15

So what makes a good friend?

Good friends are special and valuable. There are many qualities that make a friendship great. Most girls would say that you need to have similar interests and common things you like to talk about. Here are some qualities that girls just like you, think a friend should have….


It kind of makes sense doesn’t it? A good friend will actually have the quality of being friendly? A friend should behave in a friendly manner- that is usually what attracts you to want to be their friend in the first place. A good friend should also be friendly towards your family and other friends. It doesn’t cost anything to behave well.


A good friend should always treat you with kindness. This doesn’t mean they may always be having a good day and happy and smiling, however a good friend always treats you in a kind and respectful way. If you say hello, they say hello back. They do not deliberately hurt your feelings.


Friendships need to be based on trust. This is a very important part of true friendships. You need to feel that you could share a secret or a problem with your friend, without worrying

that tomorrow morning at school everyone will know about it! A true friend listens, respects and offers advice but doesn’t go and gossip about you.


A good friend always treats you with respect. They may not always agree with your viewpoint or what you believe, but they will still be your friend- no matter what. It is impossible to find a friend that you will always agree with 100% of the time, but you can find a friend that will respect you, even when you do make a mistake or disagree with you.


Loyalty is an all- important quality of a solid friendship. Loyalty means that no matter what, your friend will stick by you and stick up for you in front of other people. For example, another group of people are talking badly about you,

without you being there, are true friend will speak out in your defence and not agree with others just to save face (which means to look silly in front of the others).


Humour is not ESSENTIAL to every friendship- but it sure does help a lot!! Laughing together is one of the best things about friends. You may laugh at the same jokes, or find the same type of movies hilarious. And being able to laugh and smile just further adds to the bonds of friendship.


Imagine calling up your friend on the telephone and not getting much of a response when you asked questions, apart from the occasional ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Firstly, it would make the whole conversation a pretty boring one, but it would also make it difficult to know how your friend is feeling.

Good communication is important for any relationship, especially in keeping your friendships in healthy working order.


A true friend is selfless. This is not to be confused with the word selfish (that is the opposite to selfless.) A friend that is selfless will sometimes play a game or go somewhere with you, even if that is not their favourite thing to do. Being selfless means sometimes being able to put your own feelings ahead of your friends. For example, your friend loves bowling and really wants to have her birthday party at the bowling alley. It’s not your favourite thing to do, but you agree it will be fun because it is something your friend would enjoy, and after all, it’s her birthday party.


Honesty is such a valuable part of a friendship. Without it, you don’t really have a strong friendship. Being honest in a friendship means sometimes you might have to tell your friend something they don’t really want to hear.

For example, your friend might ask you:

“Do you think my hair would suit me if I dyed in bright orange?” She may really want to dye her hair this colour, but if you really don’t think she should go ahead with it, you need to be honest and tell her. Don’t just say “Sure you would look great as a Mandarine!!” to save her feelings. True friends can be honest with each other and the friendship will still survive.

“I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest

of all God’s gifts, for it is love that has no exchange or payment.”

Frances Farmer

So what do you do if you have a friendship that is a bit difficult to manage or is not too healthy?

It’s a difficult situation to be in when you begin to realise that your friendship is not a healthy one.

Try talking to your Mum or Dad or teacher about how you are feeling. Ultimately we become like the people we choose to spend time with. If your friend is making you feel uncomfortable by her behaviour, you need to make a choice as to whether you want this friend in your life.

An adult or older friend can help you make a decision.

Signs a friendship might not be healthy

-She gets easily jealous if you hang out with other friends.

-She regularly puts you down and says mean things to  you.

-She always makes the choices as to what you will do together.

-She often gives you the ‘cold shoulder’ or completely ignores you for no good reason.

-She speaks poorly of others behind their backs and bullies others.

What should I do if my friend isn’t a Christian?

Friendships come in all different shapes and sizes. The amazing thing about friendships is that often they are brought into our lives for a great reason. If your friend isn’t a Christian, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to be a blessing in their life. If you love God and call yourself a Christian, you have a wonderful opportunity to extend Jesus’ love to your friend. Think of it this way, you may be the closest thing to Jesus that they will meet on this earth! By that I mean, you can extend God’s love to them, treat them as you would like to be treated and show them God’s unconditional love. You just never know, your friend might come to know the Lord through your example of God’s love.

Just remember, friendships are a two way street. They take work from both sides. A great quote I read once says:

‘In order to have a friend you have to be one first!’

Communication is the key. Make sure you take the time to nurture your friendships- give friends a quick call or text to let them know you’re thinking of them, send a card in the mail, spend time with them- and you’ll have friends for life!


Taken from Sharon’s book Girl Wise- A Girl’s Guide to Friendships


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