The term friend is used so loosely these days. I have been through my share of "friends." When it was all said and done, some were friends for a season, some were not friends at all, some were associates, but the ones that stand the test of time are far few and in between, but they make my heart so glad.
I have also realized that very few people know how to be true friends. Among women you often find very negative characteristics in their friendships: backbiting, gossiping, jealousy, etc. We tend to think everybody is out to get us or we are better than the next woman. Women supporting women is huge. If we all only knew how to truly support one another and put our personalities aside, we could change the world. It makes my flesh crawl when women say, "I don't have a lot of women friends. I connect better with guys." I was like that at one point in my life. This is very sad! In my friendships I have found that there are some necessities that you must have and these have made my friendships only grow stronger through the years. I hope that you are blessed by them and that you will share what has made your friendships work.
"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17
Through my hardest times, my closest friends have given me the gift of love. They did not judge me, they did not shoot me down, they just simply loved me through my pain.
2. Be friendly!
A man who has friends must himself be friendly..." Proverbs 18:24
How can we be friends with another if we are not friendly? It all goes back to not knowing how to be friends. My husband often tells me about some of the women I consider my friends. He says, "They are your friend, but you aren't their friend." That was painful to hear, but he was so right. I was giving everything to the friendship, but did not receive anything in return, which ultimately ruined what could have been a beautiful thing.
3. Don't give up on them!
Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend...."
I am guilty of not being a good friend at certain points in my life. I pushed myself and my beliefs on them and did not take into consideration where they were in their journey and it eventually caused a strain on the friendship because I did not use tact. Even in my immaturity and self-centeredness, they still stuck around and they forgave me for my indiscretions and it made our friendships stronger or we went our separate ways with a greater understaning and respect for one another.
4. Share with your friends!
Mark 5:19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.
Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
All the good things that happen in my life, my friends have been right there to cheer me on! Birthdays, graduations, my wedding, my pregnancies, me popping and rocking! They have all been there whatever it was and I am thankful for that!
5. Be there for them!
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
I know two phone calls that I can make when things are not right. If I need backup, they are coming...no questions asked. Granted we are not going to be involved in anything petty or foolish...they know that if I call, it is much needed and vice versa!
God considered Abraham to be his friend. God also tells us in John 15:14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." We are God's friends if we just do what he commands. How easy is that! WOW! Do someone a favor today, be a friend! Better yet, be God's friend!