John 15:13 (KJV)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
I aspire to be genuine and authentic through my writing. I often write about the joys of the mission field because it’s so much easier than writing about the struggles, but in the challenge to be more genuine and encouraging I’m opening up my heart and sharing a struggle of mine.
The hardest part of being a missionary kid for me has always been the goodbyes and it only gets harder when it’s your best friend you have to say goodbye too.
It’s been two years since I have seen my best friend, but I’m not here to share how hard it has been, I want to share the things I have learned during that time and how our friendship has only grown stronger despite the distance.
I’m not really a pro at the whole long-distance friendship thing, but over the years I have learned a few things.
First of all having an uplifting, loyal, encouraging, Christian best friend is essential and its even more essential to be that type of friend. Friendship involves two or more people that earnestly care and have an endeavoring attitude, no friendship would ever last if one person was in it only to get something out of it.
I believe friendship is one of God’s greatest gifts to us and that its so important to have good friends in your life to encourage, laugh, smile and love Jesus with.
friend: A person who helps or supports someone or something.
I also believe that it’s just as or more important to be a good friend than to have a good friend. I think friendships would last so much longer if we did it God’s way instead of the world’s way. If we loved selflessly, if we were in it to be a blessing, to encourage, to bring others closer to Him. The worlds definition of friendship is so shallow, so selfish, it’s saddening to me. I can promise you that your friendship will last longer if you do it God’s way and follow His Word.
Galatians 6:2 (KJV) Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years for having a long-distance and long-lasting friendship!
- communicate. The power of communication is so important, because without it I can assure you that your friendship wont last long. I know life gets busy which just makes it that much harder, but prioritizing your friendship is essential to having a lasting friendship.
- In a long-distance friendship learning to be flexible is one of the most important tips I could give, because time change and crazy schedules is no joke. It’s important to realize that sometimes life is going to be so busy that there will be hardly any time to chat. I know that this is kind of contradicting the communication point, but it’s important to know that even though life may get busy, that doesn’t mean your friend doesn’t care about you.
- Learn to be honest with each other, because there are going to be times where honesty is the only thing holding it all together.
- Learn that there is times when its ok for the tears to roll down your cheek, but that there’s also a time to get up, wipe the tears away and ask God for strength to keep going.
- If your a missionary kid reading this, learn to constantly remind your friend that the eternal reward will be far greater than what you’re going through right now and that perhaps is the greatest thing you can learn, because no matter how hard it is right now, no matter what your going through, no matter how much you wish you could be there for your friends birthday or anything special just remember that the eternal reward will make it all worth it. We have one life, lets give our all for Him. Remember to lean on Christ for strength, because in all honesty your long-distance friendships wouldn’t last long if it wasn’t for His grace, if it wasn’t for His strength.
- Tell your friend often how much you miss them and thank them for their friendship. Tell them that you know long-distance isn’t always easy, but that you genuinely appreciate them for staying by your side. I know holding together a friendship while millions of miles apart is extremely difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you do it right, your friendship will only grow stronger.
- Get yourself a friend who will do bible studies with you (even if it’s over video chat), who will tell you that it’s okay to cry but will remind you to be strong as well, a friend who will never fail to remind you that the eternal reward will make everything worth it, a friend who will encourage you in your walk with the Lord, a friend who will lift you up instead of tear you down, a friend who isn’t afraid to be honest and tell you the truth.
- Remember that we’re all human. Your friend has faults and news flash so do you! Be understanding and learn to apologize, life is to short to be upset and hold grudges over silly things.
Lastly, I want to remind you to not forget to be that type of friend.
Lift each other up, don’t tear down. Encourage. Do bible studies together. Love unconditionally and selflessly. Be kind and honest. Learn to apologize. Be flexible during busy times and crazy schedules. Pray for your friend, because sometimes they are going through things that you don’t even know about. Laugh with them and try not to take things too personally. Remind them of the truths in His Word. Be humble. Be there for them even when it’s not always convenient. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Call them on holidays and birthdays. Send letters.
I know these kind of friendships are rare, so if you have a friendship with someone like this thank the Lord for bringing them into your life. If you can’t find a friend like this, be this kind of friend to someone else and God will turn it into something beautiful.
Friendship… is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others. – C. S. Lewis
Friendships are a beautiful thing, don’t take the people God has put in your life for granted. I pray and hope this can be a help in one way or another!
Blessings and love,