We were in second grade and both wearing the same penguin sweatshirts. How can you not become friends with someone who clearly has such an excellent sense of style? Had the word been coined yet, we would have been “twinsies.”
We became best friends. We studied in the same classes at school, roomed together on band trips, and faithfully attended each other’s birthday parties until we moved off to colleges in neighboring states. Even then, we’d manage a visit or two throughout the year. And while life has taken us in different directions, we still manage to catch up with each other from time to time.
But the stressors of change, life’s challenges, and distance can make maintaining friendships difficult, and they can fall away from neglect. In this month’s From the Pastor’s Heart letter, Dr. Stanley shares these four truths about friendship:
Friendships require time spent together.
Communication is essential.
Genuine friendship is shared life experiences.
True friends demonstrate their love for each other.
Friendships take time and, too often, we don’t make them a priority. But it’s worth doing so, if not only because friends are fun, but because they’re also good for our health. One study found a 50% increased likelihood of survival for those with stronger social relationships. They concluded that social relationships are just as important as other well-established risk factors for mortality.
To this day, the smells of scented candles and the sounds of football cheers remind me of Saturdays at my old friend’s house. Perhaps I should give her a call…
Dr. Stanley teaches more about how we can cultivate good friendships in this month’s From the Pastor’s Heart letter.