By Charles Stanley, Christian Post Contributor
May 21, 2013|8:27 am

Proverbs 17:17

Friendships are among our most valuable assets. Acquiring quality companions-those who will laugh with us in good times and stand by us during trials-requires shared commitment and an investment of time and energy. Healthy relationships thrive on . . .

Transparency. We must be honest with friends and encourage them to be truthful in return. To preserve a strong bond, we can't hide hurts or feelings of rejection they may have caused. Transparency that is tied to accountability can also help make each individual a better person. A solid relationship allows each party to gently point out errors in the other's life and offer loving correction.

Time and talk. Genuine friendship takes time to develop. We must be willing to put aside other obligations and give priority to moments spent together. A generous portion of our time with each other should be spent talking-speaking about our thoughts and desires and also asking questions to prompt our companion to open up. This type of conversation allows a glimpse into the other person's heart and mind.

Thanks. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Expressing gratitude when friends are helpful will remind them that we're thankful to have them in our life. Moreover, we affirm our love when we communicate how much we enjoy a certain aspect of their personality or remember an occasion that is special to them.

Being a good friend is a way to serve the Lord. He designed us to be in relationship with others, so we should give our best to every companion the Lord places in our life.

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