friendship

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The Value of Lifelong Friendships

Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9 ESV) Friendships matter to God.

Women and Men

I may not be politically correct, but from my observations, women seem to be better than men at keeping friendships for a lifetime. I know some men can do this, but I think more women succeed in long-term bonds.

I’ve personally watched this with my sister, my wife, and others. As an example, my sister is older than me (sorry Sis), yet she is still deeply connected to several friends from her high school days, so is my wife. As for me, I have no friends from high school.

Cultivating Lifelong Friendships

Cultivating long-term friendships is a Godly characteristic, and therefore something we all should strive to accomplish. Jesus gave us the promise that “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (Matthew 18:20) “When you have deep friendships, you can gather together; powerful prayers come from these gatherings.

We have God’s wisdom from Ecclesiastes 4:12: And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Restoring Friendships

Yet how many friendships have been lost over a single event? Perhaps your friend lied to you, chose someone else to go to a concert, failed to show up for dinner. Maybe it was you that let a friend down. “Whoever covers an offense seeks love.” Seek to restore lost friendships.

There’s great value in friendships, and the longer the bond, the higher the value and the greater your reward. However, if your friend changes and becomes unreliable, untrustworthy, worldly, those repeated offenses can break a friendship. This change applies to us as well as others. Priority and transparency are key ingredients to maintaining friendships.

Friendships With Christians

God desires us to have deep, long-lasting friendships with a few Christians, for what do believers have in common with unbelievers? As Paul wrote in Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” We should prioritize our brothers and sisters while not neglecting anyone.

I pray that you will strengthen your friendships, especially the ones that have kept on the back burner of your life.

Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

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Liberty to Love

I have a son-in-law who is in his 30s and is still best friends with a guy he started the friendship within kindergartner. I think that’s wonderful. My daughter lovingly teases him that the friend is his bromance. To have had a friendship for most of your life is a true blessing.

In our society, close friendships have become scarce. We know that Jesus and the Apostle John we close friends. John was called by the other disciples, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). When you look up the Greek word used for “love” in this context, it is the word ēgapa which denotes the love of reason, esteem. They “clicked.” This kind of friendship is something that seems to have been lost in our world.

In fact, I read an article recently that many men are becoming afraid to be close friends with other men because they feel social pressure to make their relationship romantic. It went on to say that because of this, many men keep male friendships at a very superficial level, to the detriment of their emotional health. Men and women, whether married or not, need close, same-gender non-romantic relationships.

It is a significant loss to Western culture that deep friendships are usually considered to be romantic or at least it carries that potential. While much of the world understands the five kinds of love, Western culture, it seems, does not. So much value to humanity has been lost by us making the most essential love romantic/intimate love and trying to force friends in platonic relationships into romantic ones.

Don’t yield to social pressure and, of course, don’t allow yourself to get into a situation that might become inappropriate. Navigating human relationships is a big challenge but, properly handled, they can strengthen you and others.

I have a son-in-law who is in his 30s and is still best friends with a guy he started the friendship within kindergartner. I think that’s wonderful. My daughter lovingly teases him that the friend is his bromance. To have had a friendship for most of your life is a true blessing.

In our society, close friendships have become scarce. We know that Jesus and the Apostle John we close friends. John was called by the other disciples, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). When you look up the Greek word used for “love” in this context it is the word ēgapa which denotes the love of reason, esteem. They “clicked”. This kind of friendship is something that seems to have been lost in our world.

In fact, I read an article recently that many men are becoming afraid to be close friends with other men because they feel social pressure to make their relationship romantic. It went on to say that because of this, many men keep male friendships at a very superficial level, to the detriment of their emotional health. Men and women, whether married or not, need close, same-gender non-romantic relationships.

It is a great loss to Western culture that deep friendships are usually considered to be romantic or at least it carries that potential. While much of the world understands the five kinds of love, Western culture, it seems, does not. So much value to humanity has been lost by us making the most important love romantic/intimate love and trying to force friends in platonic relationships into romantic ones.

Don’t yield to social pressure and, of course, don’t allow yourself to get into a situation that might become inappropriate. Navigating human relationships is a big challenge but, properly handled, they can strengthen you and others.

Photo by Emma Tin on Unsplash

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