Oftentimes, in this busy world, it can be difficult to sustain friendships.

While it can be relatively easy to make and maintain friendships in your younger years, the opportunities to meet new people as well as the free time to sustain relationships seem to diminish with the increase of responsibilities as an adult. Whether it’s working longer hours, having family responsibilities or just keeping up with the duties around the house, sometimes friendships can be put on the back burner.

However, it’s important to fully appreciate our friendships, especially as an adult. While family relationships are extremely important, sometimes the dynamics within a family can be quite different from what you can find in a friendship. Sometimes, family members can live far away and adults can end up spending more time with their coworkers than their own family members.

Just like any relationship you might have, maintaining a quality friendship requires work. It’s important to put work into your friendship in order to allow for the relationship to be the most it can be. Putting in the work for a friendship requires for you to be the friend that you would want for yourself.

One way you can do this is by making yourself available to your friend. While everyone can get busy in their everyday routines, it’s important to make time for your friendships in order to sustain them and treat them as quality relationships you want in your life.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

While making time for a friend can open up the door to cultivating a friendship, it also allows for a better opportunity to get to know your friend. With each new experience and each new day of life, everyone changes into who they are as a person.

Just because you may have had a friendship with someone for years and years doesn’t necessarily mean that you know them as the person they are evolving to be. Taking some quality time with your friend allows for a deeper understanding of who they are and what may be going on in their daily lives.

During these quality times spent with your friend, think about what you might want from your own friendships. While it can be great to have a shoulder to cry on or a friendly ear to listen, true friendships aren’t about having a deft ear to listen to your complaints or a “Yes Man” to agree with everything you say.

True friendships are about encouragement, uplifting the spirit and support in being the best person you can be. Sometimes this isn’t about saying what the other wants to hear, but often results in the other person being grateful for having a friend that can tell them the truth.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Sometimes, the way to be the best friend is by paying close attention not to what they may be saying, but rather what they may not be saying. It can be difficult to be honest with those closest to us, especially when it involves needing help. Too often, people hold in their true feelings about being overwhelmed, being in need or being depressed.

Just as you might want your friends to take the initiative in lending a helping hand, being a good friend to those around you can mean taking the initiative. This can come in the form of simple acts of kindness, whether it’s bringing soup to a friend feeling ill, offering to babysit for an overworked parent or even just taking your friend out for dinner during a time of financial struggles. Maintaining a generous spirit in your relationships will held your friendships to continue to flourish over the years.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for hehath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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