How Close Are Your Friends?

Relationships can be tough. We’re sinful people living in a world with other sinful people. Add to this the fact that most of us are insanely busy. Because of this, it’s easy to remain on the surface level with others, failing to develop the deep, authentic, transparent relationships God desires for us. Today Cheri Swalwell urges us to go deeper.

Rules or Relationship by Cheri Swalwell

Ecclesiastes 4:10: “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” 

I have talked in the past about following a set of rules versus entering into a personal relationship with God. Today I’m going to talk about relationships with those around us. Sometimes I think it seems easier to follow a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” than to work on an authentic relationship. I know I’ve been guilty of the same thing, but I believe that we miss out on so much when we take the easy way…both in our relationship with God and with others.

Having an authentic relationship means being vulnerable and taking the chance that you could get hurt. Being genuine with others sets you up for rejection…ridicule…being judged. Taking a chance on a friendship means that it might not be reciprocated in the same way…on the same level…with the same feelings.

It also means you could stumble into a relationship where your needs and those of the other person are met on a deeper level…with deeper understanding…with genuine empathy and support, finding a true friend who is willing to walk with you throughout the numerous trials and joys that you will experience on your life journey.

I feel that God calls us to be as authentic as possible with those around us. Or at least to give it a chance. Does that mean that all your relationships have to strive to hit that deep intimate level? No…I don’t think that’s very realistic. It’s not feasible to maintain the same level of intimacy with someone you see three times a year as you do in your relationship with your spouse (or at least I hope so).

That type of authenticity and level of relationship isn’t possible with everyone, or even healthy with everyone. However, I believe strongly that if we are seeking God’s will in all areas of our lives, then He will reveal (and provide the opportunities) which relationships He wants us to dig a little deeper with and which ones we will practice authenticity to a lesser degree with.

When God is in control of all areas of our life, then even though we can veer off course at times (we are, after all human), He will always provide a way for us to get back on track. Then, the relationships He provides will be beneficial not only to us but should spill over into our interactions at our workplace, our church, and in the community.


Cheri Swalwell describes herself as a Christ follower first and foremost, wife, mother, and avid reader. She has been blessed to guest blog on a variety of guest blogs including as well as If you want to hear more about the heart she has for marriage, parenting, and relationships from a Christian perspective, feel free to visit her blog: or like her at Facebook:

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I’ve heard it said, whatever’s not growing is beginning to die. Pause to consider your relationships in light of that sentence. What are some things you believe hold us back from authentic community, and how can we move past that? Why do you think God desires for us to be in close relationships with others?

Join us at <a href=”″>Living by Grace</a> as we talk about developing and maintaining close relationships.

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