Today’s guest post is by Vickey Banks. Vickey is a member of Bethany, Council Road, where she is active in women’s ministry. She is an accomplished author and speaker.

I love my girlfriends! Among the multitude of reasons why is this:

Friends are the family we get to choose. They may not look, walk, or talk like us. We didn’t grow up in the same house and we don’t share the same bloodline or adoptive history. But, unlike the relatives we do share those things with…we get to choose our friends!

Most often, we have the same beliefs, convictions and interests that determine the way we live our very lives – things like faith, social justice, and our worldview. It’s connecting on such deep levels that make our friends more than friends…they actually become family.

Jesus felt that way about His friends. Once, when He was teaching in someone’s home, He was so surrounded by his closest friends and other followers that his mom and brothers couldn’t even get through the door to talk with Him. When someone told Jesus that His family wanted to see Him, Matthew 12:49-50 says He pointed to His disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”  Jesus wasn’t downplaying the importance of family. (We know that, due to other comments He makes throughout the Scriptures on the priority of family relationships.) What He was doing was elevating the importance of friendship. Essentially saying, “These people here get me! They know and accept who I am. They believe in what I believe in. They’re just as concerned about following God as I am. They are so important to me that I consider them as family!”

Although I deeply love the family I was born into, I’m also increasingly grateful for my faith-filled family of girlfriends. And because there are always new friends to be made, that’s a family we can increase. I’d love to hear what you most appreciate about your family of choice. Let me know via my blog at www.vickeybanks.com.

And do bring on the friends – the family we get to choose!