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The thing we can always count on with family is that, no matter what stupid things we say or do, they will still be there in the years to come. They don't leave because they decide you annoy them. Family is an unspoken agreement that you don't have to act in a certain way in order to be accepted into the group. Your life can be a real mess, and you can be annoying to boot, but you know that they will still show up at the birthday parties, etc. You can always text or call them, and they will always respond. There is a confidence and comfort in that.
The verse above says that there is a friend that is close like that, except more so. I think that's the mark of true friendships. I have various friends that have annoying habits or views that I wouldn't necessarily agree with. Sometimes I catch myself wanting to talk to others about how dumb they are being, and laugh about it. Or sometimes I'm tempted to just let them go their own way, and not make an effort to keep following through life's changes.
Lately, I've been seeing it differently though, and largely through my husband. He makes me want to be a good friend. I seriously have never experienced how he handles friendships. He is a good friend. Every once in a while he'll tell me he called up a buddy that he hadn't talked to in years, just to shoot the breeze and catch up. This is astonishing to me. All I can think is, "How awkward!" He doesn't even realize they've had kids sometimes, but he is happy for them when they tell him. He doesn't use Facebook, so he doesn't nonchalantly keep up with details like that. Regardless of how long it's been, his motto seems to be "Once a friend, always a friend." And my cute husband has many friends because of his steady, pursuing friendliness. If he's a friend to your face, he's a friend to your back, through and through.
The way he so easily picks back up with friends from high school, etc., puts me to shame. I am quick to drop even more recent friendships for the sake of not being perfectly in line with them. I'm sure I do this largely without realizing it, but looking back at my friendships, I can see this tendency in myself. Who says the best friendships are with those that are the easiest to get along with? I know that I need differing views in my life to even out my own strange tendencies. If my friends didn't bear with me through my weaknesses, I wouldn't have any friends at all.
I'm not saying we have to be best friends with everyone, but what I am saying is that we should be real friends to all of our friends. We shouldn't talk about them or laugh behind their back when they do stupid things. We should act like family would, and overlook those annoying weaknesses, and still be there when they need someone. We should pursue them, regardless, and let them know they are loved. Life is too hard to not have lasting friendships. May God help us be better friends.