| from Melissa Hannigan |

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

David and Jonathan. Moses and Aaron. Ruth and Naomi. The Bible is filled with examples of friendship, examples of the importance of having someone by your side. Scripture demonstrates to us over and over that friends are essential to a healthy, fulfilling life. 

Good friends keep us out of trouble, pick us up when we fall down, speak truth in our lives, love us unconditionally, and encourage us when we need it the most. We need friends and we want our kids to have good friends too, right?

But having a good friend and being a good friend takes work. It doesn’t just happen. We must choose to make friendships a priority. We must be willing to make the time to cultivate these relationships. And we must model to our kids what healthy friendships look like. 

This starts by deciding to agree with scripture that friends are essential, especially in difficult times. We must humbly admit that we need others, that we can’t, nor should we, do life alone. 

It must also start with prayer. Because friendship is a gift from the Lord and “every good and perfect gift comes from Him” (James 1:17) and He wants us to enjoy this gift of friendship. Ask the Lord to give you this kind of friend and ask Him to help you to be a good friend, too.  He is faithful and He will answer your prayers. I know this is true in my life! 

I have been blessed to have some wonderful friends. In different seasons those friendships looked differently. Some friends have been just the encouragement I needed for a particular season, and some friends have become more like family. 

So it’s only fitting that today as I write about friendship I get to celebrate one of my very best friend’s birthday. She is the type of friend that everyone needs in their lives. She is a lifeline to me, the one I call when I am overwhelmed and I need to vent or cry and she’s the one I call when I want to celebrate with good news. She is a listening ear, who actually hears me and my heart. And after listening, she speaks much needed truth into my life, not only telling me what I want to hear but telling me what God’s word says… what I need to hear. I am beyond thankful for the gift of friendship, and especially today I am thankful for Tami Bister and the gift that she is! 

I hope you have a friend like Tami. And if you don’t, what steps can you take today to make friendship a priority? Maybe you need to evaluate the kind of friend you are. Maybe you need to ask God to bring the right kind of friends in your life. Or maybe you just need to reconnect with some friends and make some time to be a good friend. Whatever steps you need to take I hope that you get to experience the blessing of a friend like Tami. 

As a homeschool mom of four kids, Melissa Hannigan uses her background in child development and counseling to keep her family from going completely off the rails. Melissa discovered her passion for helping kids meet their fullest potential over 15 years ago. As a therapist, she has worked with children in head start, foster care, and in detention facilities to provide them the tools they need for success. Melissa has also served hundreds of young people through her local church. Her unique sense of humor, paired with a desire to make tough topics easy to talk about, makes her relatable to most parents struggling to keep their head above water in today’s cultural climate. Whether she’s serving the “Happy Hannigan’s” or the “Hot Mess Hannigan’s” (it depends on the day!) she does it alongside her best friend and partner in life, John. Melissa is an Associate with Celebrate Kids where she writes and speaks about a variety of topics.