Friendships, marriages, family ties—all of our basic human relationships—need proper care and feeding in order to survive. One thing that continues to strike me to the core is how little relationships mean to people in today’s society. Easy come, easy go: this is the motto of a supremely blithe and nonchalant culture of serial monogamy, friends-with-benefits, and friends we call only whenever we’re in town.
For one reason or another, many of them bad, sometimes we let even our closest friendships slide. Our best friends, our spouses, our siblings, our parents—sometimes, these people that mean the most to us get relegated to the back burner of, “Oh, I’ll call them tomorrow. Or next week. Or I’ll send them a Christmas card this year.” We all fall down in the midst of our busy lives and careers. We get caught up in the selfishness of our own pursuits and forget that there are people at the other end of the line, waiting for a response, some indication that we still value their friendship.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a bad friend, a bad sister, a bad daughter, and a bad wife when I’ve put the things I need to do ahead of the people who mean the most. Love, in any shape or form, requires persistent effort. Few people in this day and age are willing to put forth that effort, and it shows. And when you are the one left hanging on the other end of an answering machine, or a closed email box, or a returned letter with no forwarding address, it hurts.
Sometimes, however, lost friends do return, like prodigals. And when they do, all the tears we have shed from missing them, all the prayers we have prayed for them, all the walking alone we have done without them, all is forgiven. Does the pain remain? Of course it does. But was it worth it? Yes. Would we do it again? Absolutely.
John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends.”
God honors the effort we put into all of our relationships. It is never wasted; it is simply the daily laying down of our lives for our friends.Read More...