Five Friends You Can’t Live Without

Millie - Photo by RBJ

A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17, NIV). That’s the kind of friend everyone wants, and it’s hard to improve on that definition. But here are five friends–five kinds of friends–you can’t live without. If you know one of them, that’s great. And if you’ve known all five, you are blessed beyond measure.

1. A Friend in Deed

This is the friend who buys you a new pair of shoes (or loans you theirs) when your child stops up the commode with your own shoes. It’s the friend who keeps your baby when you’re throwing up, the one who brings you chicken soup (and chocolate) the day you come home from the hospital, and the one who cleans your shower (yuk!) when you don’t have the strength to do it yourself. This friend loves to help.

2. Friend in Need

You’ll find this friend waiting at the emergency room–before you even get there, and the one who listens to you cry when you lose your mom. It’s the friend who says with a hug, “It’ll be okay,” when the doctor announces, “It’s cancer,” and the one who holds your heart when your spouse walks out on you. You find this friend during a crisis.

3. A Friend Who Intercedes

This friend (s) prays for you, for your family, and your own personal Christian growth. Ever experience days when you cry out, “God, I can’t do this, but you can!”? Knowing a friend is fervently praying for you, too, makes all the difference.

4. Friend in Creed

This friend may share the same beliefs you do or attend a Bible study with you; or perhaps one who shares lunch and who encourages you to keep growing in your relationship with Christ.

5.  A Friend Who’s Anti-Creed

This friend may not share your same beliefs, or may just be opposite in personality; but it’s a friend who may challenge you to move beyond your normal comfort zone, sometimes even beyond the church walls to share your influence–and your God. You may picture this as an unlikely friendship, like the one between an 8,700-pound elephant named Tarra and Bella, a small dog. If you haven’t watched this video about this unlikely pair, take a moment to do so.

You may be saying, “God hasn’t given me any of those kinds of friendships. Even my relatives live too far away.”

Then I’ve just offered you numerous ways for you to make a friend. Take the initiative. The old adage “to have a friend, you must be one” is still true. The One who loves you (Jesus) calls you “friend.” Tell him what you need.

Then ask him to help you be a friend–indeed.

(Rebecca  Barlow Jordan, adapted from Day-votions® for Mothers (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010). All Rights Reserved). 

In Memory of Millie

I’ve been blessed through the years to have many of these friends. Some of them are probably reading this blog. But one of them stands out especially now, because I’ve just returned home from her memorial service in Colorado. For 38 years she has been my dearest friend. She qualified for all five of those kinds of friends I’ve listed above.

Millie and Me - Photo by RBJ

We were opposites, but primarily in personalities. She lived life out loud. I wrote life out loud. But we both loved and lived life on purpose–whether in the same town (the first 12 years) or long distance (the last 26).

Our kids grew up together and our husbands fished together and worked on the cabin on those special occasions when we vacationed at their Colorado hideaway. We shared fellowship at the church where my husband was on staff for 12 years.

As families, and then after our children were grown, we still celebrated the Colorado beauty together as my husband and I joined she and Chet at the cabin when we could. Millie and I shared some of our greatest joys, especially our mutual love for Jesus–on the phone, in person, or in cards and letters. But we also shared some of our deepest pain. The things Millie taught me I could put in a book. And some of them I already have.

Millie and Me - Photo by RBJ


Millie touched so many lives with her generous, self-sacrificing hospitality, that it was appropriate for their family and friends to call her “Our Millie” at the memorial service. She was one of a kind, and I will dearly miss her.

Millie in Her Garden - Photo by RBJ

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    8 Responses to “Five Friends You Can’t Live Without”

    1. Suzanne Jackson on July 1st, 2011 7:36 am

      Sweet, sweet memories of a sweet lady. She really was one of a kind, and every memory I have of her includes a warm smile and a sparkle in her eye. What a wonderful treasury of memories you must have to draw on now that she is gone. And what a God-honoring legacy she has left behind.

    2. Rebecca on July 1st, 2011 10:27 am

      For sure, Suzanne. Can’t you just imagine all the joys your mom and Millie are enjoying and experiencing with Jesus right now? What a fabulous sharing time they must be having! Yes, my memories are precious. She touched so many!! The memorial service was soooooo special, and one of a kind, too, just like her.

    3. Priscilla on July 1st, 2011 8:19 pm

      Thanks, Becky, for being that kind of friend to me.

    4. Rebecca on July 2nd, 2011 11:10 am

      You are so sweet, Priscilla. I feel like it’ s YOU who have been all those kind of friends to me! Thank you!

    5. Lorraine on July 2nd, 2011 12:27 pm

      A friend is like a sister. Through shared experiences there comes a bond that produces a sister. Laughing at ourselves and each other and wiping away each other’s tears, this is what my best friend, my sister, means to me.
      -Big Sis

    6. Rebecca on July 2nd, 2011 6:56 pm

      Well said, Lorraine! Thanks for those encouraging comments!

    7. michelle on February 8th, 2014 11:58 am

      a friend is my friend who passed away her name is tiamo I used to call her tia she used to advise me and she liked me for me I could joke with her and act crazy n have fun with her and she used to say enjoy life you only live once she was gonna go for a holiday and stuff that she planned to do bt passed away in an accident a friend loves at all times my best friend

    8. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 8th, 2014 3:38 pm

      Michelle, I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend. A good friend is hard to lose.

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