I am so sorry to read about your friend’s decision to go back into an abusive relationship. This kind of relationship never ends well (unless the abusive partner becomes a born-again Christian); it only leads to discouragement, disappointment and destruction. But I was so glad to read of your desire to still be a “good Christian friend” to them. There are two good verses that speak of being a “good friend” that I would like to quote and then offer a few comments. The first verse is Proverbs 18:24, “A man of too many friends come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (NASB).

There is a wealth of truth in this one verse. In short, it teaches us (as another has said) “that it is better to have one TRUE FRIEND than a host of friends who will lead you astray.” Today we live in a world of computers and something called “Facebook” where people may have hundreds or even thousands of “so-called friends,” but how many of these supposed friends will stick by you “through thick and thin” (this is an old saying which simply means “through difficult times over a long period of time”). The truth is that many who call themselves a “friend” may desert you in a time of real need (especially if many are speaking against you) or, as our verse implies, give you the wrong advice that will lead you astray. A true friend will love their friend in spite of circumstances and will seek to help them no matter what others think. Your friend is surely heading for disaster, but your “true friendship” towards them may be just what they need to help steer them in the right direction.

The other scripture that I thought of is Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” A true friend will not only stick by their friend through thick and thin, but they will “tell them what they need to hear, though they may not want to hear it and may be offended by what you say.” In this case, as a believer in the Word of God, you know that your friend is heading for trouble and in love for them you will need to warn them of this. Here is what the Bible says about having a relationship with the wrong kind of people, especially people that are violent and abusive: “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals” (1st Corinthians 15:33). “My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your feet from their path…Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of WICKEDNESS and eat the bread of VIOLENCE…Do not associate with a man given to ANGER; or go with a HOT-TEMPERED MAN” (Proverbs 1:15; 4:14-17; 22:24). I would encourage you to share these verses with your friend. Before you do, assure them of your love for them and that you don’t want them to get hurt. Ironically, they may accuse you of being critical and hurtful; in other words, your words may “wound them.” But as we saw, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” You know that you are doing this because you are indeed a “true friend” who is seeking to steer them away from a bad relationship which will only lead to them getting hurt. It may harm them “physically” and it may also harm them “morally,” for we read in 1st Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

In closing, if your friend is not saved, then in addition to presenting them with these sound words of advice from Scripture, you can present to them the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can show them they are a sinner headed for eternal ruin (Romans 3:23 & 6:23; Hebrews 9:27), but that Jesus Christ died for them to save them from the penalty of their sins (Romans 5:6 & 8; and 1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Then you can show them that they must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior” and that they will be saved the moment they believe (John 3:16-17; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).  (DO)  (489.3)