Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Everything I know about Being a Friend

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8

This passage, from 1 Corinthians, is typically read at weddings. You've probably heard it a bunch of times. But the author, Paul, wrote it to describe God's love for us (agape) and as an example of how we should love our fellow man. It is not about romantic love, but rather brotherly love. So, I would like to use it to describe some pretty important people in my life:

Everything I ever needed to know about being a friend, I learned from my girlfriends

(Love is patient, love is kind) Sometimes we need to wait for a true friend to come to us in her own time. That doesn't mean she doesn't care. It just means that she has other things on her mind. She might not always call you back right away - Maybe she's not a phone person. Or maybe she forgot. But she still loves you. If you wait, she will be there at exactly the time you need her. (Angie)

(Love does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud) Sometimes a friend has what you want. Sometimes you have what she wants. A true friend is generous with what she has and is sensitive to what her friends don't have. (Janet)

(Love is not rude) Sometimes the thing a friend needs most is just a listening ear. Not advice, or a drink, or a bitch session. Once in a while, she just needs to know that she can unload without anyone judging her or interrupting her. Sometimes, really listening - not talking - is the hardest thing to do. (Nicole A.)

(Love is not self-seeking) Some girlfriends will always put you before themselves. That is just their way. Don't take advantage of that or take it for granted. (Candace)

(Love is not easily angered) There will be times that a girlfriend says things that she doesn't mean. There will be times that she takes things out on you. If you really know your friend - REALLY know her - you'll be able to see through her anger into the source of the anger, and forgive her. (Kris)

(Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth) A girlfriend may not really be as strong as she puts herself out there to be. She doesn't need to be told that - she already knows it inside. What she needs is someone who accepts her for who she is, and cheers her on to be the person she wants to be (even though she might not quite be there yet). (Nicole W.)

(Love does not keep a record of wrongs) A great friend will, from time to time, do something that she's not particularly proud of. She will need a friend who can be trusted with her failures, knowing they will be kept in "the vault". She also needs to know that your opinion of her won't change just because of some stupid immature choices. After all, we all need forgiveness. (Elena)

(Love always protects, always trusts) Having a true friend means a deep trust of all things: privacy, honesty, and unconditional acceptance. That trust is not to be taken lightly. Trust, once broken, is not easy to repair. So handle with care. (Joni)

(Love always hopes, always perseveres) Some friendships are like an old stuffed animal - you got it so long ago, just seeing it makes you happy. You may not visit often or take good care of it, but it is always there just the same. And you know you can always depend on it, and it can always depend on you. (Kathy)

Love never fails!

More great stuff I've read/heard/been told/found:
God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth. So we should listen twice as much as we talk.
Be friends with the person who has no friends - they need a friend the most and will be most loyal.
Every relationship needs attention. Like a plant can't grow without sunshine, a friendship can't survive without both people feeding and nourishing it.
Friends can respect each other as people without agreeing with the other person's opinions.
It is a truly humbling experience to ask for help. A friend never makes you feel humbled. When the chips are stacked against you, she is ready to help, no matter what, no matter when.

Today, go and find a friend you love and tell her, or him, or them. Don't waste today.

Elena, Nicole A., Candace, and Texan Mama
Girls Getaway 2006


binks said...

That was great! Thanks for that.

Bridge said...

we had this reading at our wedding. although it explains god's love for us, I also see that this love can be applied to the godliness of marital love, love that has gone beyond that phase of romantic infatuation.

how great that you have friends who are so close to you!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

This is so cool. I love it. Half the time I am just so stinking disorganized in my own life I simply forgot you called. Honestly.