Other types of "friendships" have different characteristics. There is a mentoring friendship. This is where one friend has a bit more maturity and is helping another in times of need with wisdom and knowledge that may be of help to a less experienced, less knowledgeable person. These types of friendships are important for people at different stages in their lives, for BOTH parties. It gives the one being mentored a chance to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the more "mature" person, and it helps the mentor in the relationship to use what they have learned to help another person. Philippians 2:4 " do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." So we learn that it is important to help. It is also important to note that a mentoring friendship is not the same as a mutual friendship. We must take care within this relationship to understand that the mentor will need to take care of themselves and make sure their balance of life is kept in tact. We all need a rest now and then! Clear boundaries are important within this relationship so the benefits can continue for both parties. It is also important to note that as a mentor IF you have given a mentee everything you have be HONEST with the mentee. If the need is still there and you have nothing else to give you may need to suggest they should seek help from another mentor or seek professional counseling. This is a loving action.
Also important to note for a mentee that if your needs happen to be very encompassing at the moment you may want to find a few mentors of like mind so as not to find yourself in a situation of need and your mentor not available. It is also a biblical wisdom as found in Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Be sure in this situation to be taking advantage of the knowledge and wisdom you have been given and not just moving from house to house with your need.
Now, within these frameworks what does God expect of us in our relationships or friendships? There are many scriptures regarding our relationships with each other, so let's just look at a few that might help wade through our responsibilities to each other and ourselves as God would have it.
A great place to start is found in John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This would indicate a sacrificial type of love for each other. I can see this in each of the relationships above. Within this sacrificial type of love we need to employ love of each other and not take advantage of each other on either side of the coin. Mutual respect can and should exist within the framework of each of these relationships for them to continue in a healthy way!
Jesus tells us the framework that makes us His friends...what can we learn and apply to each us in the above relationships? John 15:14 "You are my friends if you do what I command." and NO, we don't get to boss each other around...think hard about this one!!
Look at the wisdoms within Proverbs...
Proverbs 27:6 "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." If you are lucky enough to have a trusted friend or mentor, understand that some things said may not be easy to hear. II Timothy 3:16 is a good measure to remember when we are searching for Godly wisdom "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." If we have the right attitude within any of the types of friendships discussed above, this is a blessing! IF we take "sharpening" with the right attitude this means we have the choice to grow!
Proverbs 18:24 "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."
I encourage you to take some time to evaluate your relationships in life...if you have a mutual friend, REJOICE, if not, let time wisdom guide you in that direction. If you are a mentor or a mentee, take heed...do not take advantage of the other. If your lines are fuzzy and you don't know what kind of relationship you are in, read through this again (I didn't make it up, I studied the topic) and see if you can clarify your lines and set boundaries so the relationships can be healthy and Godly!