We all want to have friends that we can share our lives with, from our past, to the present and our hopes for the future. We want to be ourselves, not pretending to be on top of things, or have it all together and the security to be able to confess struggles, failures, sins, knowing that our true friend will not think less of us. To have this type of friendship it must start with us Being A Good Friend to others.
This type of true friendship doesn’t just happen. Almost always it requires that we become vulnerable and take some initiative.
Real meaningful friendship is a gift that teaches us how to love. We do not learn to love by just sitting home, watching a movie or reading a good book alone. We must open our hearts and lives to others, stepping out of our comfort zone and asking people to spend time with us.
A true friendship touches our soul, it has the power to change us for the better. We learn to lean on our friends, not in dependency but in mutual support and encouragement. A friend loves at all times, good, bad or ugly and through this love our friendships can not help but positively change the lives of both friends.
Opening our own hearts and lives to others can be intimidating. The enemy fills our head with all kinds of excuses why we might be wasting our time or why it is to hard on our part. To shake these feelings off though , you must remember that creating true friendships is not about impressing people but about making someone else feel loved.
Being a good friend takes time and effort on our part. As you cultivate these relationships keep these four keys to create a true friendship in mind.
- Let’s be honest, the best way to grow friendship is through conversation. So slow down, ask a friend over for dinner and spend some time sharing what’s going on in each others lives. Listen, encourage or just spend time laughing together. It does not have to be some elaborate dinner, just grab a take out pizza and whip up a side salad. No big fuss, just focus on enjoying and strengthening your friendship.
- Remember, cultivating a friendship is not all about you. Your main focus should be on the other person. Compliment your friend on their accomplishments, encourage them when things are challenging in their life, always be positive. Friendships are about cheering each other on in the messiness of life both publicly and privately.
- Phoniness never creates a good friendship. Authenticity comes from the confidence that we can be ourselves with our friends while they too are completely authentic with us, so then within our friendship we find mutual acceptance and love.
- Being a true friend means loving and supporting our friends, even if we disagree with their choices or actions. It means not being critical when they are transparent, allowing them to be vulnerable and honest. It means never holding their faults and failures against them.
Remember, true friendship is intentional, seek it.