What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. Proverbs 19:22
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Solomon says, “What is desired in a man is steadfast love” (Proverbs 17:17). Deep within every human soul, we desire to love and to be loved – steadfastly, unconditionally, always. Yet, we know love doesn’t come easy. For those of us who’ve experienced the blessing of a real and lasting relationship, we’ve had to weather the storms of life. We’ve had to enter the heat of conflict and carry the burden of tough seasons together. Inevitably, life creates storms and the dependability of our friendships are tested when the heat of life turns up.
When storms in friendships come, we have a choice. We can either stay or bail. We can persevere in the heat or leave the friendship out to dry. We can grow stronger together or walk away alone. In John 15, Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends… no longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends” (John 15:13-15). Jesus demonstrated a surprising love. When the heat of anger and animosity turned against him, he moved toward his friends to communicate love through action. Jesus sacrificed his life, something we may never do for our friends, but in this, we see something remarkable in Jesus’ character. Jesus moves toward his friends, willing to forgive, and desiring reconciliation.
Love, in any relationship, requires something of us. When friendships get hard and the heat turns up, what we do next says something about our character. Are we the type of friend who moves toward the heat, ready to forgive, and desiring reconciliation? Are we the type of friend who is marked by steadfastness and unconditional love? Are we the type of friend we want in our friends? Think about your closest friends and the love you’ve demonstrated through actions recently. Consider what your friends would say about your friendship. Then, ask the Lord how you might grow into an even better friend.
By Yvonne Biel