“The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” Genesis 40:23
Sometimes friends forget. They forget birthdays, anniversaries, commitments and what’s important to their friends. The forgetfulness of friends facilitates frustration and disappointment. After all, some of these friends have been past recipients of your help and encouragement. You have been there for them during their days of discouragement. Now when the tables have turned and you are in need, but they don’t seem to be near.
Maybe they are too busy with life, maybe they are buried in their own troubles, or maybe they have simply forgotten you. Unfortunately, some friendships are tentative and unpredictable. When adversity strikes you are able to filter out false friends from forever friends. Fair weather friends will fly in and out of your life. Some friendships are expedient for the moment, while others compound in loyalty and love as the years pass.
However, be careful to not place expectations on your friends. Expectations increase the chances for disappointment. A friend will let you down if you hold over them lofty expectations. If your friend feels the pressure to perform a certain way they will push back in fear or resentment. Friendships are meant for release—not control.
Companions are a gift from Christ. Steward them well, so you can be trusted with more. It is tempting to take our friends for granted. Especially long term friendships, because they are low maintenance and they tend to get the least attention. But, in reality even old friends need nurturing. They need a phone call, a visit or written correspondence. They need time. Friendships grow or atrophy, but care and attention fertilize a friendship.
Moreover, make it a goal for your spouse to become your best friend. You and your spouse sleep and eat together. You raise children together. You manage the home together. You budget money together. You hurt together. You laugh together. You vacation together. You are growing old together. Since you spend so much time together “doing life” it is imperative you fortify your friendship. You are not just tolerating each other for the children’s sake. Your goal is to become best friends, so when the children move out, you are not bored and relationally bankrupt. Fun friendships are intentional.
The marriage relationship is a friendship not to forget. If you ignore this friend you will wake up one day with regrets. Remember their birthday, your anniversary, and all those little things that make them feel special. When you remember a friend, you honor a friend. When you remember a friend, you feed a friendship. Friendships fatigue for lack of attention. Remember a friend today. Remind them of how special they are to you and to God. Love on them and expect nothing in return. Be a friend and you will have friends.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV).
Am I a friend worthy of friendship? What friend do I need to love on and encourage?
Related Readings: 1 Samuel 20:42; Job 16:20-21; Proverbs 27:10; John 15:13-15
Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God