What comes to your mind when you think of the word friendship? How would you describe that? In your definition what actions, what emotions, what qualities, what attributes are contained within this? How does communication play a part in it?
“Friendship adds a brighter radiance to prosperity and lightens the burden of adversity by dividing and sharing it” – Anon
I suppose each one defines friendship differently and naturally different friendships have different characteristics – after all, not one person can be everything! However, in life there are certain friendships that have an unexplainable connection or bond.. I can think of a few such people in my life and write about ‘ideal’ yet realistic friendships..
“The highest sign of friendship is that of giving another the privilege of sharing your inner thought.
It is a personal gift in which there is self-commitment” – Paul Tournier (1898–1986)
The feeling of affection is mutual and clearly understood.. There is no need of guessing games and no room for wondering.. the bond is simply obvious. Each would make time for one another – in times of pain and trouble as well as in times of joy. Sharing of lives takes place. There is teasing, joking, laughter, humour along with affection, acceptance, encouragement, appreciation, intellectual conversation (a conversation with substance at the ‘mind’ level) and most importantly a shared spirituality. We don’t need to fear what the other would think if said something – we know we are accepted and not judged.. and we are able to agree to disagree yet we will speak our hearts out in love. There is regularity in communication – even if it’s just a one word sms just to show we are thinking of the other… Once the friendship is established, then periods of silence don’t matter as we understand that if the person isn’t saying ‘hi’ then they are sincerely caught up with something important.
“A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself” – C. Raymond Beran
What a beautiful friendship! Is it possible? Yes… I have been blessed with such friendships and some of these friends are miles away in different time zones so it’s not always practical to drop a line or have a skype call – yet the bond lingers on as strongly as ever despite the silence as the foundation was established strongly in a healthy manner. Then even the few words or sharing of memories once in a blue moon never fails to lighten the heart and bring a smile to the face and a praise of thanks to our prayers.
“Four things are the property of friendship: love and affection, security and joy.
And four things must be tried in friendship: faith, intention, discretion, and patience.
Indeed, as the sage says, all men would lead a happy life
if only two tiny words were taken from them, mine and thine” – Saint Ailred of Rievaulx (1109–1167)
A number of marriages are collapsing because they got into the marriage based on chemistry – or to be clearer sexual chemistry. Nothing else was in sync.. they didn’t relate to one another on other levels.. Of course, years later “happily married with kids” is nothing but a beautifully white washed home whereas in reality they wake up to a “stranger” whom they know on a sexual level but no other area of their lives are compatible..
If two people can’t be friends, the foundation of the marriage is lost. I recently heard it being said,
“A husband and wife should be like a set of eyes…
if the right eye looks to one direction, the left eye follows suite“
I jokingly replied that if someone has a squint, that won’t happen – but I suppose having squinted eyes does give headaches and need correction! The sync should be there for sure 🙂
Partners should have compatibility in all levels – holistically. Of course, if the spiritual compatibility is there, a lot of time is spent together in prayer and bible study and ministering to others so even if the area of hobbies / interests don’t over lap it wouldn’t matter too much. However, where there is an over lap it really does help.
Of course, gender differences play a role to have differing interests… especially in the area of genre of books / movies. Males tend to like horror and action and what not, with the volume so high that the ear drums could burst any moment whereas these same things that make a man tick tends to make a woman anxious and fearful – which could linger and spill over into the other areas of her life. The woman’s life doesn’t have ‘compartments’ like a man and all are inter linked…they are not separate but all connected.
Basically, if you can’t be friends with someone and if you can’t share your faith at the same level, the foundation of a relationship is ummm… like building on the sand.. It takes more time to build your house on a rock, but it is surely a rooted way.
“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” – Micah 3:3