How to Enhance Friendships
By Joyce Dunaway @DunawayJoyce
Do you have certain friends who call you when you’ve had them on your mind? It seems uncanny, but sometimes a particular friend has been on my mind and the day I decide I’ll call her she calls me first. With some friends we may not have talked in months but we pick up the conversation as if we’d talked the day before.
Friends are important. They add value to our lives. As women, we seem to enjoy activities better when shared with a friend—shopping, eating out, going to a movie, or exercising. Even though some of my friends’ personalities are totally opposite from mine we still connect.
Abraham was described as a friend of God. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God (James 2:23 NKJV).
Jesus identifies people as friends those who believe in Him and obey Him. “You are My Friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:14-15 NKJV).
To keep friendships flourishing takes concentrated effort. Following are some tips on how to enhance friendships:
Do we really listen when others are talking, or are we thinking about what we’ll say next? It takes practice and concentration to develop listening skills. Often when a friend vents about events in her life all she wants is for someone to listen—not give advice.
SCHEDULE TIME TOGETHER
Often we intend to go see someone or at least call them, but time slips away. It helps me to schedule an event with a friend—otherwise time together might not happen. At the beginning of the year my beach buddy and I decide which week we’ll spend together for our annual trip. Sometimes we have to reschedule, but we make this event a top priority.
TAKE TURNS CHOOSING ACTIVITIES
Each person has favorite things they enjoy doing. If your friend chooses something you’re not particularly excited about doing, try it. You might find out you like it more than you thought. By compromising you’re saying that you value time with her. However, one person shouldn’t dominate the choices—that leads to frustration.
You may have some friends that you don’t dare tell them something you don’t want repeated. Then there are the rare few that you can trust with your deepest secrets and know they won’t tell anyone else if you ask them not to. It takes time to develop that kind of trust. If a former friend betrayed you, it’s hard to trust someone else, but we need a friend who will listen without betraying a confidence.
EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
If your friend offends you, it’s best to let her know. Otherwise, a barrier could develop which might eventually cause your friendship to deteriorate. If you let offenses build, you could reach a breaking point and say things which could permanently erode the friendship.
I would love to hear how you enhance your friendships. Please share your thoughts in the section below.