I’ve been thinking a great deal about what it means to be a friend; what it means to have a friend. I’ve come to treasure friendship so deeply and to recognize it as a gift; a blessing from the Lord. There is a desire to share the good times in life as well as a need to share the hurt. There is an old saying “joy shared is multiplied and suffering shared is divided.” That has been true for me over the years and the more of both that we share with a true friend, the deeper the bond.
I’ve thought about what is necessary for friendship to survive, to grow and to thrive, and I think trust and love are the two elements that comprise a lasting foundation. As a friend, we have to remember that no one is perfect, not me; not you. Everyone has weak moments, bad days, and difficult struggles that may be very hard for another person to understand. It isn’t always necessary that we understand. It is always necessary that we love them through their struggles.
Valuing another person and honoring the good that we know she has inside is required for a relationship to endure in difficult times. I’ve often thought of how precious the gift would be to know that a friend will truly love at all times; will not speak unkind words behind your back or spew ugliness about your less than desirable qualities. We all have those, you know, less than desirable qualities. Every person has flaws, yet love just expands to wrap a hug right around ugly and chooses to focus instead on all the precious that is also true of you.
I want to be that true friend that loves at all times. I want to be a safe place for others to land, where they can know they will be welcomed in love and no record of wrongs will have been kept by me. I know the only possible way for me to be that person is to daily go to The One who gives these gifts, the fruits of the Spirit, and allow Him to work this out in me.
How needful it is for us to pray for those we love. Instead of falling into criticism, we can choose to love and pray and in so doing we will make a kind, safe haven for them.