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Friendship that “Sings”

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” This is one of my favorite reminders about the power of friendship.  It points to the passage in Proverbs that says, “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Prov. 27:9.  I have been thinking on the aspect of friendship in the last few weeks as I have seen the ending of one season and the beginning of a new season in my life.  With the changing of life’s seasons there can be the question of which friends will come with you into the new season (the new chapter), what new friends await you, and what friends will not go with you in the new season and remain a part of the season that has passed away.

Walking away last night from time spent with a friend where the food was good and the conversation even better, I was reminded of how true and authentic friendship can be a force for inspiration, refreshment and a soft place to land in difficult days.  In it we can find a place to sort through our deepest fears, biggest dreams and experience the transformational power of really “knowing” another and being known by them.  A true and authentic friend is committed to going beyond mere “likes” on Instagram or “liking” your latest post on Facebook.  They free time to spend with you rather than just give you their free time—which in this day and age “free time” is a scarcity.

In growing healthy friendships, here are 5 things to consider:

  • They are based in truth.  Friends tell each other the truth—personal truths and godly truth– and not just what they think the other wants to hear.
  • The deeper and more authentic the friendship, the greater the vulnerability shared. To be a true and authentic friend takes risk and it takes courage—courage to face conflict and rejection, courage to continue to invest in relationship despite what life may bring for either friend.  It takes courage to love with a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things yet not lose one’s sense of self in that process.
  • They take TIME. Time spent talking, laughing, crying, playing.  It takes time for others to learn the “song” in your heart and time for you to learn theirs.  It also takes time to stay current on revisions to the tune, as well.
  • Healthy friendships enrich, challenge and encourage but they cannot complete us. There needs to be freedom in friendship to pursue our individuality.  We need to be careful that friend relationships not become an incubator for codependency and insecurities.
  • They embolden us to be all we can be in our other important relationships—spouses, children, co-worker and most importantly, God.