Friends Don't Let Friends…

When I was in high school, I ran track. I attended a large high school and our track team was over 100 kids. One girl on the team named Crystal, pulled out in front of me in her truck while exiting the school parking lot.

There was a bumper sticker on her truck that read: Friends don’t let friends die without Jesus.

I didn’t know Jesus then. I was 16. I remember reading her bumper sticker again and again, feeling both confused and intrigued by it.

Of course now I know that friends are not responsible for another friend’s salvation, but I understand the message. It was a friend, a different girl though, who helped lead me to Christ.

I have had friendships that are healthy and joyful, to some that are toxic and cruel, to still others that are full of encouragement.

I have my own “friends don’t let friends…” list. Here are three things I would never let my friends do. Then it’s your turn.

The first one pains me. I would never let a friend marry someone who is not a believer or who I feel is not God’s best for them. Now, in saying this, I will admit that both have happened within my friendships. I refused to be in the wedding party of one friend who was engaged to a man who was not a Christian.

I have also watched friends walk down the aisle and believed that they were not marrying God’s best for them–for various reasons. They did get married. I couldn’t physically hold them down on the day of the wedding and ask the guests to leave (even though I’d thought about it). All I could do is speak truth in grace and pray that they would have a change of heart. Once those marriages took place, all I could do is continue to pray and help hold those friends accountable. Sadly, one of those couples is already divorced, only 5 years later.

I would also never let friends abuse anything–be it alcohol, drugs, food, their bodies. In the past I have had tumultuous friendships that were defined by substance abuse. Being clear headed and healthier in Christ now, I can recognize what an enabler I was in some instances or how lacking in action I was in others. I would fight harder now to help my friends conquer their addictions. I would offer greater support and accountability. I would be available and up in their business.

Lastly, I vote that friends don’t let friends be disrespectful or rude to their spouses, especially in public. This one I admit, I have failed in practicing, but I’m trying. I had one friend, for instance, who would constantly belittle her husband in public settings. It was so embarrassing and uncomfortable. I would always leave her company and complain to my husband that I hated the way she treated her own husband. However, I never said anything to her. We are no longer friends though, for other reasons.

I have since tried to encourage my friends, in loving ways, to respect their husbands and show that respect in public, where it is most important. Women, for some reason, are oblivious to the male need for respect. (Yes, a He Said/She Said post waiting to happen).

Granted, we can never make people do anything. I have lost friendships for reasons out of my control, but I have also damaged friendships for not speaking up. Yet, I would rather run the risk of losing a friendship then let some of these things take place. I guess I’d sum it up with this…friends don’t let friends be jerks.

Okay, so what’s your list? What would you never let your friends do? What have your past friendships and current friendships taught you?

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7 thoughts on “Friends Don't Let Friends…”

  1. i would never let my friends:

    – live a life that is less than what is best for them. i always encourage them to dream bigger, reach a lil further, believe in themselves coz God sure does believe in them. i want to be one that speaks faith into the lives of others, especially to those i love.

    1. Patricia,
      Great list. You definitely seem like a friend who is invested in the future of her friends, which is so important. We all need cheerleaders too to help push us and encourage us!

  2. I would never let a friend — give up on God because it’s the * easy * way. It’s not always easy to be a Christian. It’s not always fun. It’s not butterflies and roses. Being a Christian doesn’t make you less sad, less of a target for pain, frustration, bad things.
    I’ve had people to question my faith lately. HOW can you still want to serve God, still believe, still love, after what you saw and felt and became this year? The answer is truly simple. It’s that I AM a Christian, and Christianity is me. There is no division of the two. Yep, I’m hurt and I’m mad (at the human, who had the right to sin, not God) and I wish things were different but throughout this whole journey, I know God has a plan for me. And, God has a plan for you, each and every person on this earth now, before and beyond. So that’s my I won’t. I can’t stop them from giving up if they want to. I know, because I’m facing it every single day when I look into my children’s eyes, and I pray for the salvation and soul of their father. But I couldn’t let him go without doing my best to help, to make him see that even if he chooses to give us up, the kids up, even God up, God still has him.
    And, I pray one day he will look back and remember my words and know, truly, that God loves him even when he didn’t love himself, and go back to God.

    1. Ade,
      What a great point! The Christian life is not easy. I wrote about that once too.

      It is easier to walk away from God and pursue our own fleshly desires. Following Jesus is hard, in my opinion–filled with His presence, peace, love, and even joy–but still hard.

      Still praying for your husband and what God has in store. Blessings Ade. xo

  3. I love this list! You made such great, insightful points. I’m so glad to have a friend like you.

    It takes a lot to care more about the people in our lives then what they think of us. Honest feedback should be practiced and well received in friendships, and we would all benefit so much from it.

    I will never let a friend fall away. I’ve pulled many friends out of depression (well maybe not completely), but if a friend is having a dark day, I will be there to carry the load, encourage them, and make sure they know they are loved.

  4. I love that list Nicole! All three are things I really agree with, although in the same breath all three are things that we ultimately can’t control – I’d maybe say that I’d *try* (a lot) in each of those three situations, but we can’t always have the last convincing word, and a lot of the time we just have to leave it to them & God… Which is often a big struggle for the control freak in me!

    Friends don’t let friends… constantly walk in sin. This is one I’m finding tricky at the moment. Good friends saying that they’re a Christian but their lives are so clearly speaking otherwise. And I want to call them to account, not because I’m judgemental or ‘holier than thou’ but because I believe in God’s best for them and I so want them to know the joy, peace and freedom of immersing yourself totally in your relationship with God, and surrendering yourself fully to Him and His will. But it’s such a fine line to tread, between calling to account and condemning/judging.

    Friends don’t let friends… walk out of their life without at least hearing the Gospel. I like the spirit of that bumper sticker but obviously it’s down to God to save! So I’d say I won’t let a friend walk out of my life (whether through life circumstances, growing apart, moving away, death etc) without me having shared the Gospel with them. Most of the time they’ll be happy to stay unbelieving, but at least I’ve ‘done my bit’. Not to let me off the hook, but to give them the opportunity to respond. Then it’s down to them, to choose whether or not they want to know God personally.

    I’d think of a third but I really should be doing an assignment right now!

  5. I live on the Yukon River and a popular tee shirt here says, “Friends don’t let friends eat farmed salmon!” I have honestly not thought about what I would say to a friend that I didn’t approve of.

    My best friend tells me a lot of stuff and a lot of them aren’t contradictory to the Bible, other than complaining. I’ve encouraged my frousin (cousin/friend) to quit their drug habit. Very interesting.

    Another friend of mine said that she told her friend that God has someone better in mind for her than her boyfriend. Her friend was miffed but they’re still friends. I thought she was brave that she just dished it out without fear.

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