The value of friendship
Is friendship one of your values? From an early age, we need friends in our lives. Boyfriends come and go, even husbands sadly, but girlfriends are there through thick and thin.
I am reminded from time to time, of exactly how valuable friends are to us. This past weekend I attended a good friends 50th birthday celebration. Her daughter asked each of us to record some kind words that she could put together in a video. As I mulled over what I would say, it occurred to me that although I thought so highly of my friend, I had never really told her. This post is to honor the very special women who I am blessed to be friends with.
One of the reasons I started The Wateringwell was to have a place where women could meet and encourage one another. So let us be intentional in telling those special friends in our lives, just how much they mean.
What makes a good friend
This is possibly more appropriate for some of the younger girls (note, I said some) when image and socializing play a big role. By my age, you have been around the block a few times and learned the value of a true friend. Friendship means different things to different people and that is perfectly ok. Regardless of why your friends are your friends though, there are still some key qualities in a true friend.
Basically, she has your back. Chances are you have been through something which tested the strength and loyalty of your friendship and you know that you can rely on her, no matter what. A friend loves at all times (Prov 17:17)
She knows who you are and what you are all about and won’t ask you to compromise your principles. She is a good influence and committed to your well being.
You have been completely vulnerable with her, she knows your weaknesses and has seen you at your worst, but remains your closest ally anyway.
It is somebody you can talk to, have fun and laugh with. She helps you forget your worries and concerns.
These are the people in our inner circle, our true friends.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Prov 18:24
What draws friends together
When we meet people we are initially drawn to them because of common interests, like-mindedness or common values. They become part of your larger social circle. These friends are good to have because you generally relax with them and share good times. But then there are those friends who you draw closer to because of a special bond. These are the friendships that span decades and distances.
We may be drawn to them through history where we have shared something deep or special. Or maybe we have been on an amazing holiday together. It could be a myriad of different reasons. One of my dearest friends today, was with me when I got the call to say that my brother had been shot. We had met at work and decided to do a road trip out of town to attend a decor show and to see friends. I didn’t even know her that well.
The morning I got the call, I was too numb with shock to do anything, but she sprang into action. She made decisions, important calls and stayed calm in the storm. I will always treasure her for that. In one of my darkest times, she had my back and has done so ever since.
Good friends are to be honored, they are not there just for the good times.
Be mindful of what destroys friendships
As the Bible says we need to guard our tongues at all times, and this is especially relevant where friends are concerned. A cruel word can end a friendship.
Gossip separates friends (Prov 16:28) If it is not helpful, then rather don’t say anything at all.
Bringing up the past separates close friends (Prov 17:9) Forgive and move on.
Do not forsake your friends (Prov 27:10)
Friendships can be torn apart by jealousy.
What your friends say about you
I don’t mean what they speak about you, but how they reflect you. Who your friends are, says much about who you are as a person.
I am an introvert and people pleaser so I often battle to speak up for fear of offending somebody. Most of my closest friends are not. They are strong, driven and determined women. I think that is what I love about them. I know exactly where I stand with them and those are the people I trust. The people I love and admire are the ones that are not scared to tell me the truth. They know my flaws and weaknesses but are still my friends. I value them highly.
The benefits of true friends
Our friends help us overcome times of loneliness. One of the saddest things for me is to know somebody is lonely and doesn’t have the comfort of true friendship.
The Bible says our friends are more important to us than even family. It doesn’t mean we love them more, but they can have a greater influence in our lives.
Make a friend feel special today. Tell someone you appreciate them. Take the time to thank a special friend or tell them how much they mean to you.
How to attract true friends: Become one
Reflect on your list of friends. Is there somebody who you could/should call to chat to? Better still, can you meet up with them for a cup of coffee and do the whole face to face thing. Reach out to at least one person this week. Then try and do it at least once a week, to one person on your list.
If you meet some friends regularly, consider other people who you don’t see. There may be that one person who comes to mind that would really appreciate your call.
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