6 Characteristics of Quality Friendships
“Christ, who said to the disciples, 'You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,' can truly say to every group of Christian friends, 'You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
The older I get, the more I’ve grown into a deeper understanding of what a precious gift true friendship is. We were made by God to be in community with others. There have been times when that community I’ve needed has been missing. I’ve learned to recognize that need and ask God to meet it- and he has done just that.
A couple of years ago, God started bringing together a group of women writers. When I was invited to join them in an online group I knew the invitation was an answered prayer. We have a common bond in our shared love for Christ. Other than that, we’re quite varied in all other respects. Our friendships grew closer over time as we supported one another and prayed together. Geographically, we’re spread throughout the country (and beyond). Few of us had ever met face to face- until recently.
The idea to meet together in Arizona took hold and became a reality at our first annual, Higher Ground Conference this past April. It was a beautiful time that forged lasting bonds among us. We laughed a lot, cried, prayed together, and enjoyed the sweetest time getting to know one another better. There was no doubt in my mind that God had chosen us for each other.
Ideas sparked about, as will happen when you put a group of creative minds together- but one idea, in particular, took a hold on our hearts. We didn’t want to keep something this special to ourselves. We’re already planning next year’s Higher Ground Conference in Arizona and we’re going to open it up to more women. We want to encourage those who minister to others through online writing and we want to offer practical help in how to do that. There will be more information coming soon.
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about what it is that’s so special about these women and what it is about our friendships makes then feel so true. First, as I said earlier, I believe God chose us for one another. After that, whether it’s intentional or not, there seems to be an effort among the group to live out the following six characteristics. You’ll find these 6 qualities are common among all great friendships:
“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:14
2. Good listening
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” –Romans 12:15
God brings friendships into our lives and they are a blessing, a precious gift. Stewarding that gift, well, means being intentional in the way we love one another.
If you find yourself in a place where you’re lacking the kind of community and friendships you desire, please, let me encourage you to ask God to meet that need. And then, when he does, remember these six characteristics of a great friendship.
Is there anything you would add?
Linking up with Deb Wolf at #faithandfriends (Friday), #GraceandTruth (Friday), Holly Gerth at #coffeeforyourheart (Wednesday), Sherry at #homesweethome (Thursday), Susanne Eller at #livefreeThursday, Carmen at #salt&light (Thursday), Kelly at #RaRalinkup (Tuesday), and Lori at #Momentsofhope (Monday)