A man who has friends must himself be friendly . . . (Proverbs 18:24)
She's the only one you could ever tell. Those late-night laughs and conversations for her ears only will be handled with care. She's the one you made mud pies and climbed apple trees with. She is your childhood bestie! If she's still in your life then this is a relationship to cherish. How many of us can say we kept in touch with that childhood BFF? That we maintained the connection into adulthood - not many.
The truth is many of us simply stopped talking for various reasons or relocated. Friendship among females is a serious undertaking. The relationship can become strained when parties begin to take the longevity of the friendship for granted. Friendship defined: "a relationship of mutual affection between people; a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association." (online dictionary)
Mutual affection, stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. These words are a powerful description of friendship. How many of us are demonstrating this with those we call "friend?" If the relationship is not mutual, perhaps it's time to redefine who falls in the friend and associate categories. The female friendship can take on many forms over its lifespan. Owning the truth that there's only one you and to expect others to reciprocate their showing of friendship as you do is unrealistic. However, understanding the signs of a strong, healthy friendship is important and helpful in the building process. A good place to begin is by presenting yourself as friendly, a huge undertaking in itself for some of us. Basically, if you want friends, be a friend.
Celebration, Appreciation and Prayer can make all the difference in a healthy striving friendship. Here are a few indicators strong female friendships freely exhibit:
1. Trust: Being able to be vulnerable without being judged. Example: You've experienced a past trauma, but your friend offers a listening ear instead of an attitude of let's fix it.
2. Panic: Being able to have a melt-down and still be respected the next day. Example: You show up to speak with one blue shoe and one black shoe. Your friend goes back to your place to get correct shoes or better yet takes you to the nearest shoe store and buys you a matching pair.
3. Belief: Being able to have the support in word and deed. Example: Your friend is not only a good listener when needed, but demonstrates support beyond encouraging words … she understands what it means to be there in the thick of life's celebrations and challenges.
If you are a friend remember to celebrate your friend with your words; Appreciate your friend with your actions and Pray for your friend as you pray for yourself. Friendship is valuable, let's handle it with care.