We do not live close to these friends anymore, so this is a time that we have come to treasure, to catch up, and to encourage one another. We are able to share our lives and our faith and be real with these friends without the pressure of everyday life or the need to go somewhere or entertain anyone. Our kids have grown up together and are old enough now to monitor themselves. I love that because of our shared faith (which is what brought us together to begin with), we can continue in our shared lives.
I have thought quite a bit about this recently. It is so important to have friends that you can share life with. These friendships don't come quickly or easily sometimes. It requires sacrifice. It requires vulnerability. It requires giving. It requires acceptance. It requires time. It requires effort. If you are willing to do these things - and sometimes they are hard - you will develop friendships that will last the years and the miles.
If you don't feel like you have friendships like these, or if you are in the hard times of developing friendships, let me encourage you to keep at it. Do the hard thing. Invite people over. Give to people. Do this as a family! Family friends are the best and will bond you for life! They will be the ones that are there for you when life gets hard. They will uphold you in prayer when you need it the most. And before you can have a friend, you will need to be a friend. There is no greater treasure in life!
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity
John 15:13 Greater love has no one that this: to lay down one's life for one's friends