Apparently, these findings concerned the researchers because they worry that girls aren't using enough of the playground. Isn't that interesting? Without any suggestion from teachers or parents, the girls place themselves in closer physical proximity to each other, thereby increasing their social contact.
Although little girls tend to disagree more than boys, their need for friendships is obvious, and at a young age, seek each other out. God designed this need in us, and friendships offer more than companionship, they also offer protection.
With Satan as our enemy, and sin as our nature, we are weakened. One of Satan's most effective tools is isolation. He knows if we stay away from godly friends, he can start planting lies in our minds, and thereby bring us down. But with good friends to surrounds us, and affirm God's truth in our life, we are less susceptible to attack.
Consider frost damage. In a forest, a tree is more likely to be killed by frost if it is standing alone. The same goes for plants and bushes around our homes. However, when the trees are clumped together there is a natural protection and they survive the cold.
This is a lot like people. None of us expect a difficult time to come - but we live in a fallen world and bad things happen. To a person without godly friends, a time of frost can kill them emotionally. However, when a person is surrounded by friends, they are more likely to survive.
For many of us, friendships are whipped cream on the ice cream sundae of life. They are an added bonus, but not essential. However, God thinks otherwise. In Ecclesiastes 4:8-10 we have the following words of advice: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
In another book of the Bible, we are advised to confess our sins to others. James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Since I'm probably not going to confess my sins to someone I don't know, this verse affirms the importance of godly friends.
Take time to be with friends. Plan a holiday gathering and share the things you are thankful for. Look for opportunities to include friends in your everyday life and share what's going on in your life. Our time invested in friendships is time well spent. It's in our God-designed make-up to need each other and it accomplishes God's desire for our protection when the hard times come.