"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

FRIENDSHIP

Lately I have been pondering about friendships and relationships in general.  What makes a friend?  What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?  What if I am a friend to them, but they are not to me?    When one marries another, there is an expectation of permanence so why the divorce rate?  Why do relationships end?

Definition of FRIEND in the Webster’s:

1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem

1b:  acquaintance

2a : one that is not hostile

2b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

4 : a favored companion

There were more definitions, but these were the important ones.  I noticed that there is nothing there about the length and duration of the relationship.  It is my experience that some of the some relationships are forever and some are only for a season.

I know that there have been times in my life when I have wounded and offended a valued friend.  Often they have forgiven me, but the trust was destroyed and the relationship was damaged and never quite the same.  I find that I am still saddened by my actions.
I love this quote that I found in the comments at Webster’s:
“A friend is someone who is there through the good as well as the bad. A friend understands a point of view while disagreeing with it. A friend remains a friend through adversity. A friend takes the time to listen despite a lack of interest. The next time someone deletes you as a “friend”, ask yourself, were they really a friend?”
We all desire healthy intimacy with our friends and our spouse, but often the thought of letting down the wall terrifies us.  What if we let that one in and we are wounded?  What if we don’t?
I wrote a poem years ago after my divorce from my husband of eleven years.  The first lines are:  “The barriers between us are all carefully maintained.
                   They are nurtured by guilt, fear, tears and pain.
                   We hold ourselves off at a distance insulated and protected,
                    Unable to make a commitment out of fear of being rejected.
                   And the armour imprisons the wearer instead of making him free . “.
There is more, but you get the idea.
Scripture says that there is One who sticks closer than a brother.  I am privileged to know that One.  When He lives in my relationships, the loyalty and the trust level are much higher.  When the wound is from a fellow who is on the same path, I must trust in the One who created us all.
I wonder if true friendship and relationship are even possible apart from knowing Jesus and the Father?  I am in awe that I can now be wounded by a close companion and walk in peace recognizing that they are not my enemy but one who is struggling to do His will.  For me, I have determined that I will be a friend and cover another’s offenses.  I, too, will be wary if the door they closed opens again but I will receive them..

To conclude this, I choose to love those I have wounded and those who have wounded me.  I choose to live in peace with betrayal.  It is okay to hurt me.  I forgive and release tthe offender and I choose to walk in freedom.  Thank you Father God for your amazing peace and love.
Related Sites:
What to do when friendship breaks down. http://www.whenfriendshiphurts.com/blog/
Scripture References:
Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:9
Psalm 41:9

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