Friendship is a quality of relationship that endures many tests over a period of time. Situations and circumstances and seasons will fluctuate, but friends stay basically the same. They have a loyalty that transcends economies of compromise. Find a good friend who passes a character test; keep them and commit to them; commit to reconciling small disputes and large. Every friendship will be tested. Friends who love are friends indeed.
Ways a friendship can prove itself faithful by love:
1. Listen to what your friend is really saying. Take time to achieve understanding. When it’s all boiled down, understanding is all that really matters.
2. Tell the truth, but find the right time, and be patient. Truth is so vital and precious, it’s a travesty when it’s delivered offensively.
3. If there is a second thought, any indecision, reflect quickly and attentively. It’s often not too late to start over.
4. Say the words, “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “Thank you, buddy.” Don’t forget to say the words. Don’t hold back.
5. Ask often, “How are we doing?” Not too often that it says, “I’m worried about ‘us’,” but, often enough that you show you care.
6. Identify your own selfishness in the relationship and work on it.
7. Make the time regularly to spend time to maintain and nurture the friendship.
8. Forgive the odd transgression and be full of grace about honest mistakes.
9. Hold money and other assets and commodities lightly. Business between friends can work if the relationship always comes first.
10. Always think about blessing others. Reflect over what ways this friend can be loved.
11. Spending too much time together can harm a friendship, or shift the dynamics into dependency. Enjoy periods apart. Nurture other friendships and time alone, too.
12. Do activities you both enjoy and be first to be prepared to compromise. Take turns doing what one likes more than the other. Be prepared to do something new.
13. When your friend is emotional give them space or show you care. Decide what they need from you at the time. Ask them and respect their wishes.
14. Make a commitment to be an encouragement to your friend when they are down. Help them stay grounded when life is running well for them.
15. Offer practical assistance whenever you can. Even when you can’t, give them a hand.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.