This week I had the opportunity to sit down for breakfast with a dear friend. As we began to discuss the happenings in our lives, I learned that my friend’s family was going to be moving to Florida within the next month. What a shocker! It was not the news I expected or wanted to hear. My family is not ready for our friends to leave!
As I have processed the news of my friend’s departing, I was reminded of a time almost ten years ago when my wife and I left our adopted home in Alabama. We spent a number of our formative years in very close relationship with a group of families. My friend’s pending departure has reminded me of the feelings I experienced when I had to leave those close relationships in Alabama.
Approaching the loss of these relationships with a longing for “the good ol’ days” is a bit naive. Life is always moving forward and changing. Focusing on the past will only blind me to opportunities in the future. Instead, I am challenged to appreciate the relationships I have experienced.
Here are a few thoughts to consider about the qualities of close friendships that we can cherish.
- Do not take close relationships for granted. Things are always changing. I seem to fall into the trap of expecting things to remain the same. Unfortunately, that is unrealistic. The intimacy of a relationship should be appreciated and valued. Deep friendships provide a richness to life that cannot be underestimated.
- A rebuke from a friend can be trusted. All of us have moments when we “lose it”. A loyal friend can recognize these moments and offer a loving word of correction to help us deal with the situation. We can feel secure in our friendship when the other party can see us for who we really are, warts and all, and still love us. Their devotion despite our flaws will give us confidence to be ourselves.
- Hard times are better when walking through them with an ally. It is always easy to deal with difficult circumstances when we know we have someone else in our corner with us. A supportive shoulder to cry on or a sounding board are invaluable resources when we are confronting life’s challenges. A close friend with similar values can also provide wise counsel.
- There is no substitute for time spent together. One of the most critical elements of building rock-solid relationships is an accumulation of hours in one another’s company. Proximity breeds closeness. My wife and I spent countless hours with friends on Thursday nights after they had twin girls. It was time well spent. Although time and years have separated us now, we find ourselves able to easily slip back into meaningful conversations when reunited.
Friends steadfastly bonded together by love and purpose can accomplish great things. Together they can make their mark on each other and the world around them for as long as life’s circumstances allow them to stay connected. Rarely do these moments last a lifetime so my encouragement is to make sure not to miss these relationships while you have the chance.
Question: What are some qualities of relationships you cherish? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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