More Than a Friend

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
    is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT

I didn’t know I needed a friend like her, but God did.

I liked her as soon as I met her. Fifteen years older than me and married with children, Marilyn was a charming woman who smiled with her eyes, not just her mouth.

I was out of school, single, looking for a full-time job in biology, and trying to get involved in a new church. I wasn’t sure how well I knew who God was, even though my parents reared me in a Christian home. It was confusing being told most of my life to be good, wear the right clothes, act godly, go to church, and watch my language. None of these helped me have a relationship with Jesus.

God sent Marilyn into my life to show me who Jesus was and how much He loved me. She was an excellent teacher and godly woman. She loved Jesus, and her love for Him rubbed off on everyone she knew.

Her way of teaching drew me in when she and her husband began instructing our Young Adult Sunday school class. The old stories came to life as she gave me a new understanding of the book of Daniel and Isaiah, and her teaching on Spiritual Warfare showed me I could be victorious in this life.

Most of all, she opened my eyes to a Savior who wanted a personal relationship with me. His love for me was not based on my works, but on His. Jesus wanted to be my friend. No one had explained Jesus was interested in me—in my life. He wanted me to talk and walk with Him. Jesus really loved me!

Marilyn and I laughed, cried, and prayed together. She was always there for me and so patient when I showed up at her house unexpectedly during dinner.

Although Marilyn and I don’t live close anymore, she is still my spiritual mom and friend.

Have you had someone be like Jesus to you?

Today, more than ever before, our world needs men and women with the heart of Jesus. It’s what our teens, college kids, and young adults need. Like us, they desire to have someone love them for who they are, to come beside them, and walk out life with them.

No judgment, no criticism; just acceptance and love.

It’s what Jesus did.

Today, more than ever before, our world needs men and women with the heart of Jesus. #Disciplemakers #disciples #Friendship

I pray my children meet someone like Marilyn one day; someone who will model the character of Jesus to them.

This culture is so different from the one I grew up in during the late 70s and 80s. Our teens and college students need direction, love, and the truth of Jesus and His Word in their lives.

 Jesus’ desire is for us to do as He did; make disciples of all the nations.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

God may never call us to another country, but making disciples in our families and right in our own backyard is the perfect place to start. You may be the friend who is as sweet as perfume to someone in need.

Who are you discipling?

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
    is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT

15 thoughts on “More Than a Friend

  1. Stephanie, mentoring and discipling is part of the call of every believer. A staff lady for CRU discipled me in college by pouring her life into mine. Now, I pour my life into women the same way Reba did for me. And it’s biblical. We often hear much about the Proverbs 31 woman, but I love the Titus 2 woman because she’s a Christian mentor.

    1. Wonderful! I’m glad you had a mentor. I have and do disciple many young women as well. Yet, I know many who don’t as well having a young friend once who was offended when I spoke about mentoring her.

  2. Ben Cooper

    I am so thankful for the spiritual father I had! He is now with the Lord and reaping his eternal rewards. I am also thankful for being given the opportunity to be a spiritual father to my son in the faith who is living out his life for God. Thanks for reminding me of those that have helped me of that I have been given to mentor!

  3. That’s great Ben! I love that God gives us people like that in our lives and then tells us when it’s our turn. It is a blessing to be on the receiving end and the giving. Thank you!

  4. Carla

    Beautiful story. Through out time I’ ve heard of this sweet woman friend , and did get to “meet” her via one of your Bible studies. If I had to say who was my sweet friend, it would be you, my endearing sister. Thank you that you had a mentor, then was able to mentor others! I pray that I can do the same.

  5. What an important and inspirational post Ms. Stephanie. I pray that one day Christ might use me to be a friend like your Ms. Marilyn is to someone. Such an important aspect of learning to live a Christian life is learning that God does not want us to place Him upon a pedestal, but He wants to walk alongside us in our journey of faith. He is God, yet He wants also to be friend, counselor. I’ve long said there’s a difference between being a Father and being a Dad. I’m so grateful that God is both to me. I love knowing I can call Him “Abba.”

    1. Yes, J.D. He is a Dad as well as a Father. Ang I am sure you have touched many lives. God has given you many gifts and from what I know of you, you use them well.❤️

  6. I’m thankful for checking into this post today. Excellent thoughts shared with such simplicity and clarity! Thank you for your investment of time and effort in creating this worthwhile opportunity for us. Blessings!

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