I don’t have a best friend. The kids I grew up with, including my closest friend from middle school, all live back in Mexico, and I moved to the US two decades ago. There are some grad school classmates who I’ve lost touch with, a few teacher-pals from a brief stint in Texas, and dear friends I call on often from my little community in Oklahoma, but no, not a singular best friend.

With my pockets of friends all over, I’ve been grappling with the topic of friendship. I feel like I’m surrounded by women that talk about their best friends, childhood friendships that have lasted until late adulthood, or marriages to their best friends. Yet, I don’t really understand what it’s like to maintain a friendship for such a long time. Even more, I don’t consider my husband my best friend— though he is the person that knows me best and he plays a very special role in my life.

Christian women recognize the value of friendship, trying to build close, deep, “authentic” friends in a world where we fear social media and isolated lives threaten such relationships. The Bible teaches us about the importance of friendships in teaching us to love, do good works, heal each other’s wounds, and most importantly, mature in our walk with Jesus (1 Cor. 15:33).

And even with our non-Christian friends, we are called to communicate, forgive, and resolve conflict in healthy ways. Jesus gives us the perfect model of how to honor and value each person we encounter; we can see in Scripture how he related to his disciples and his closest friends, Peter, James, and John.

The significance of such relationships in our lives as Christians makes it even more disappointing when our friendships ...

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