What is friendship? The Bible, and particularly the book of Proverbs, spends much time describing and defining it. One of the prime qualities of a friend is constancy. Friends “love at all times” and especially during “adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). The counterfeit is a “fair-weather friend” who comes over when you are successful but goes away if prosperity, status, or influence wanes (Proverbs 14:20; 19:4, 6, 7). True friends stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).They are always there for you. Another of the essential characteristics of friendship is transparency and candor. Real friends encourage and affectionately affirm one another (Proverbs 27:9; cf. 1 Samuel 23:16-18), yet real friends also offer bracing critiques: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:5-6). Like a surgeon, friends cut you in order to heal you.
Friends become wiser together through a healthy clash of viewpoints. “As iron sharpens iron, so friend sharpens friend” (Proverbs 27:17).
Tim and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, page 112.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
What is friendship?
I've been reading Tim and Kathy Keller's book on marriage, and I really enjoyed their description of friendship (since marriage is not less, but more, than friendship). This paragraph is towards the beginning of the chapter and applies to ALL friendship: