Random Notes on Friendship and other Relationships

Have you ever had friends with whom you thought you would never part? Perhaps you were seat mates in the secondary school for several years and shared many things together, time and resources. Are you still in touch? Friendship is a crucial part of our lives and like the popular saying goes, “No man is an Island.” This is because loners don’t last. They soon disappear.

In I Samuel 18:1-2, we witness the beginning a classical story, one that spans decades. David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul strike a life-long relationship.  It is more like friendship made in heaven. Have you ever had such an experience: someone you never knew from Adam, but you suddenly connect at the moment you set eyes on each other? David has just returned from the battle against the Philistines, where he has just miraculously brought down Goliath, the highly revered giant. This shepherd boy exudes confidence and carries an aura that Jonathan, the king’s son cannot not afford to ignore. They soon become covenant friends. In chapter 19, we see how Jonathan continually endeavours to douse the tension between David and King Saul, who has grown envious of David and now hates him.

The king continues to plot his death, but in Chapter 31, Jonathan and his father breathe their last on the battle field. Several years down the line, in II Samuel 9:13, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan wines and dines at King David’s table, him physical disability notwithstanding. David remembers the house of Saul and honours the lame one from Lodebar, the only surviving son of Jonathan. He restored Saul’s estate and Mephibosheth was in charge.  This way, David kept his covenant with Jonathan, even in death. (Prov. 17:17; 18:24) Not all friendship stories end up this way. There are very few life-long experiences like the one above.


Some people come into our lives at some point in time and naturally transit after they have made their impact. We discover that when we try to force such associations to linger beyond their welcome, frustration sets in and we lose our peace. Also, there are times when God brings us in close contact with some people for specific assignments. It could be as simple as listening to them, praying for them, counselling them or keeping them company. In due season, when they have received enough courage and inner strength to stand alone, we need to be sensitive to know when to allow them grow into independence and stand on their own, helping others as they have been helped. There are times that such friendships blossom into deeper relationships, but we must be careful not to seek to possess such people as our own. We should not use people and take advantage of them. Help them get a life, but do not stifle their growth. No one owes you anything because you have done them any good. God in heaven sees your heart and the motives behind your kind actions. He will reward you accordingly. (Col. 3:23-25)


Leaders, especially in the house of God, are entrusted with the lives of people. We look up to them and they help young believers grow. Usually, a leader places a high priority on his/her relationship with his/her followers. S/he prays for them, listens to them, counsels and carries burdens in their hearts for people in their care. Sometimes s/he feels exhausted, other times s/he feels rejuvenated to continue to sow seeds of growth and happiness. In the course of service, s/he is privy to varying details of the lives of different people. The many fellowship meetings and activities help to knit people’s hearts together in unity and they begin to see themselves as blood relations. A family is birthed. But when a leader leaves an office, there is the certainty that not all relationships and connections to everybody remain the same. A few relationships remain and even wax stronger, but others gradually fade due to several reasons that will not be discussed here.


Wherever we find ourselves, let us endeavour to make the best of associations. Value people; seek ways in which you can give and not necessarily receive. Always remember the place of God in relationships with people. When people hurt you, forgive and forget. Granted, many times scars from broken trust linger, but God is a master at dealing with scars. He can truly heal your wounds and clear the scars. Always check and ensure your character is intact. When an individual’s character is sound, even when circumstances take us apart from other people for decades, when we meet again we find it convenient to reconnect with them. This is why old time friends reconnect after several years, and in a matter of weeks or months they begin to talk about doing business together. In all our associations with people, we should endeavour to be selfless (not selfish and self-seeking), genuinely interested in people, recognise when to part and give them a break, and never neglect God’s guidance and prodding through the Holy Spirit in us. Above all, we should develop good character, live by it and be trustworthy.

(c) August 2010

Memories & Special People: Show that you care! By Bunmilofe Aramide & Gbenga Awomodu


Photo credit: gettyimages.com

Have you ever moved and relocated to a new house? If your answer is yes, then you have quite an experience to share. You can start your story from the dilemma of clearing up your room, deciding what to leave and selecting what to pack. It is at such times that you discover old pictures hitherto lost in the last layer of your drawers, pictures from high school, when you were so small, so cute and looking so good (hope you’re looking better now). Or, you were so rough, so tough and so bad. You see bits and pieces of your life in cards, clothes, shoes and stuff that meant so much or so little to you. You remember those days were somewhat equivalent to your life – you just had to see them at least once in two days! The food you just had to eat for your day to be complete. The songs that made you soar and the dreams that made you hope.

It is however funny how we let the things that were once important in our lives recede to the level of abandonment. How the things that made us us soon travel out of our subconscious. Sometimes, after we have seen someone so much and had something in common for so long, it just does not seem important anymore mingling with them. We can no longer see how useful it is to associate with them or how irreplaceable they are… Until you want to relocate, you probably don’t realize how cozy your room is or how attached you have become to it. It is then you get ideas on how to decorate or how to rearrange – when it is too late! Now you are in your new street, you suddenly long for the birds that chime at the back of the window in your “former” house. Something just happened and another idea just crossed your mind and you already started making for the door when you suddenly realize Kunle is no more your next door neighbour and you wish you could call up and consult your “former” friend…

How many things do we neglect until they become “former”? How many associations have we “normalized”, without even realizing it? How many important spots, favourite activities and wonderful people have we let go “over the years”? Maybe your dad will never become former and your mom will always be your mom, but that may be all there is to it. You’ve known that girl since your first year, you’ve done assignments and read together, she’s helped you with cash a few times and when you were sick, she came by to see you and brought some food, but that is all there is to it, she is ‘just a classmate’ or, at most, ‘just a friend’. The boy has been a friend to you. He created time for you to take you tutorials and ensure your grade point average (a.k.a GP) got a boost. Remember when you were so confused and about giving up on schooling or even living, alcohol and smoking had messed you up, even when you had those family issues to deal with. Suddenly, you have resolved to live big now and forgotten people who have made everlasting impressions on your life. It is surprising how those of us who know the God of love and have experienced Him still cannot recognize love when it’s right there in our face, how we cannot reciprocate kindness even when it’s just right for us to do it.

The silent message running through this piece is this: that you show those you love that you really care when you still can, while they are still close by. Do not wait till your father is seriously sick or till your mum dies before you tell them or show them how much you love them. Don’t hesitate until your sisters get married or your brothers go to school abroad before you do the little things that show them their place in your heart. That girl or guy you call your friend, are you sure you are not taking them for granted. You wonder why your friends do not really tell you when you are wrong, maybe it is you. You are too ‘used to them’ to notice anything important about them or pay attention to whatever they are saying. You seem to have attached yourself to some mundane things that you have relegated the most important people in your life to the background.

Translate your love into sincere words and timely actions. Love what you have now, cherish your friends, your relationships and associations, treasure your family and value everything that makes your life smooth now. Childhood friends are great assets in our lives. People that we meet along the way up to greatness should not be ignored. Without people, people we truly care about and who truly care about us, our achievements and attainments in life could become vehicles of fatal frustration! Money alone cannot give you joy, neither will your record breaking achievements and awards!


Friends enjoying good times

From today on, make a decision to let out those little or big, but sincere smiles. Send those lovely text messages; make those calls and carry out those sincere timely actions to show forth the love of God living in you to those around you. Genuinely pray for your friends and foes; close friends and friends not so close. Don’t deny the world your best. Do not give an excuse: that you are too busy or quite unavailable. Stop complaining that people do not love you, even in the church! You can only obtain love when you first love and show that you care… Start making those calls now, put those visits on your schedule, and create time for that special person, whoever they are. You’ll be better off for it and maybe you do not know, like the words of Hezekiah Walker’s famous song, ‘you do need them to survive’. Hey! Slow down, and show that you care!

This piece was originally published in the 2009 Edition of Campus Mirror, an annual magazine of the Lagos Varsity Christian Union, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Bunmilofe Aramide is a freelance writer who lives in Lagos Nigeria. She studies Mass Communication at the University of Lagos.