I’ve been a social butterfly all of my life. I love people. They intrigue me, so many varieties, personalities, flavors. Growing up I was highly involved in a church of over 3,000 members, so I had the pleasure of meeting countless people from all over the world. My life has been richer because of it, for sure.
Some friends enter our lives and we experience an instant bond. I’ve had a few like that. Other friendships must be cultivated with care. Here are five important components of lasting friendship:
- Be real. Take the mask off. Tear the veneer down. Be yourself. On face value, this sounds ultra simplistic, but so many hide behind emotional walls because of life’s hurts that they’re afraid to just be themselves. Jesus is the Great Physician. Pray and ask Him to heal you and make you whole. Don’t allow fear to prevent you from experiencing genuine friendship with others.
- Be trustworthy. Keeping another’s confidence is vital. If they’ve shared something in confidence with you, honor them by not sharing it. As women, sometimes this can be a challenge, but ask God to help you. Talk to Him about it. We are called to be people of integrity. Live it out.
- Pray for one another. This, by far, is the greatest component of true friendship. When I’ve had a concerning situation and a dear friend has prayed for me, what a joy and an encouragement it has been! Recently, a sweet friend even fasted with me about a particular prayer request. That is a gem of a friend! One who will walk alongside of you during life’s toughest times. That’s what genuine friendship is all about.
- Invest love and time. I have a dear friend who I see once a year because the miles separate us. Every time we meet, I make it a point to bring a little gift for her and sometimes we swap gifts. I find the greatest joy is in being on the giving end. One year I gave her a nice card and a tube of lipstick, another year a card with a nice candle. Last year I gave her a throw quilt I made. I want her to remember how special her friendship is to me, even after we’ve parted ways for another year.
- Laugh. Lighten up. Life is short. Sometimes the best moments experienced together aren’t when words are exchanged, but when laughter deep from within the heart is shared!