Friendship. Do we really consider what that word means? Or what it should mean? Friendship is such a gift from God! Too often we take friendships for granted or fail to take the time to become the kind of friend we really desire to have ourselves.
Some might ask, and I have questioned as well, "what should I look for in a friend? How will I know if I have a true friend?"
"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
The following points were given by a very wise man and father figure to me who was instructing us about the right tools needed in a true friendship.
A Beautiful Friend:
- Loves God and his Word -do not be unequally yoked.
- Is a giver not a taker. He is not self absorbed. He is not a know-it-all friend and is someone you can't out-give.
- Does not seek self glory but God's glory. You don't have to walk around on eggshells with him. He rejoices in God's ways.
1.Be prepared to get hurt.
Friendship is not always pain-free. If you have a perfect friendship where nothing ever goes wrong or disagreements never arise, you may not be in a true friendship. Additionally, you cannot walk into a friendship with a soft shell. If a person takes offense at every little thing it is very straining on a relationship. Friends must cultivate long-suffering with each other.
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6
2.Friendship with men is different than with women.
This is very true and something I think we don't heed often enough. I believe there is no harm in speaking to young men or other men in a social setting and being polite and courteous or talking about subjects you have in common. But I think we have to be cautious in our friendships with men. Married and unmarried women alike might find themselves getting more attached than just in a friendly manner.
3.You must learn to trust and display humility- Have a receiving nature
Someone whom you can trust is a precious gift indeed.
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"Ecclesiastes 4:9
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
"Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, Or you will learn his ways. And find a snare for yourself." Proverbs 22:24
4. Be willing to take risks. Open up and disclose yourself; if you don't desire risks you may live alone without intimate friends or relationships.
Again trust and deep love is involved here.
5. Be willing to rebuke and be rebuked
I cannot say it any better than scripture:
"Better is open rebuke than love carefully concealed."
"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:5-6
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
7. True friendship involves time- Will you sacrifice your own time for your friend?
It's easy to just randomly pick friends and think those friendships will succeed if you send them an occasional email. But we must invest in our friends.
8. Have fun together- Don't take life too seriously.
Do things to show you care for each other. Time is involved, and lots of love and sacrifice.
9. Take life seriously :)
Life isn't all about fun though. We cannot abandon our families and responsibilities. We also have a responsibility to our friends to make them aware of God's commands regarding our duties in life.
"A good friend is a gift from God." "Love means saying you're sorry all the time...Love means I love you the way you are." Dr.Vest