By Adetoun Jegede
I want to believe that friendship is one of the beautiful numerous gifts that our heavenly father has bestowed upon us and if properly groomed and nurtured, it can last forever!
However a good friend or friendship doesn’t just suddenly jump at you!, It takes a conscious effort and commitment on your part to make it work. After you must have identified your true friends with time and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I hope that you can learn a thing or two from the simple tips below…God bless you as you read.
Simple tips for a lasting, Fruitful Friendship
Make sure you are always in touch with your friends from time to time, follow up with them, don’t wait till when you have something to say, you can call or message them just to check on them. Try making this a conscious effort.
• Know their folks
Get to know their family and let them know you too! You can also check on their parents and siblings once in a while. Be careful not to misuse this (as it is not absolutely necessary, but allowed as the friendship gets deeper). It is just a show of commitment and intentionality on your own part. Send them messages occasionally and give them a call.
• Edify one another
In your spiritual growth process, make sure you carry your friends along with you! Make sure you are also building your friends up as you build yourself up. Share scriptures, materials, videos that would help build them, attend events that would improve your spiritual life and also all other aspects of life together (Now that is the right form of turn up!)
• As much as you can, be there for them!
Your friends should be able to depend on you to be there for them in tough times. This requires a lot of commitment, but with the right friend, it’s more than worth it.
• Be a Giver:
This does not necessarily mean material things, who am I kidding, it does! But you must also give your time, knowledge, expertise and advice.
• Pray together:
The other day I was praying with a friend and while rounding up, the Holy spirit said to me ‘if you have a friend that you gist long hours over the phone with, and you have never prayed together with that friend for even up to 15 or 30 minutes; then your friendship is not that deep’… even in the middle of your little chats and fun, make time out for praying together! During your personal prayer time, remember to keep your friends in prayers.
Be interested in what matters to them: this is just as simple as it sounds! Show support to your friends even in the littlest ways. This really counts! Be their greatest cheerleader and best critique: Celebrate your friends at every chance you get and remember to always speak the truth in love Eph4:15. Encourage them and give them comfort where necessary (Remember you cannot take the place of the Holy Spirit). Celebrate every milestone with them and be genuinely happy for them.
• Be Accountable
Share your goals with them, as well as your fears: the essence of this is to have them pray along with you and also to have them as your accountability partners, so they can help you when you are lagging behind or lackadaisical about your goals.
• Make time for Hangouts
This is very important! It helps create beautiful memories and also helps with bonding in friendship. As friends, you should always make time out for one another just to enjoy each other’s company and have fun, go swimming, see a movie, visit the spa, go to orphanages, go on vacation…There’s just so much you can do!
• Handling Disagreements
Resolve issues with wisdom and maturity and be quick to move on!: Just like every other relationship, it is only normal for you to at some point or the other have disagreements, however your approach to handling such disagreement is what matters the most, be quick to forgive, slow to speak (ask the holy spirit for wisdom when you don’t know what to say). Don’t be the one to go back and forth on an issue, learn from it and move on really fast! Don’t let it affect your friendship.
• Know when to say goodbye
Having said all these, it is also very important to note that some friendships actually do expire, some friendships are only for a season and when we see signs of such friendships, we should not hesitate to let go. Also, note that it is not everyone who is acting all friendly to you that is actually your friend. This is why you should always ask the Holy Spirit for the ability to discern.