The Constituents of a Friendship

Friend: “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.”

*raises eyebrows* Isn’t that interesting. I suppose that’s the best one can expect from a definition, though. If friendship were simply a bond of mutual affection one shared with someone else, friendship would lose so much depth.

And, perhaps controversially, I would argue that one can know someone and have a bond of mutual affection for a person without a friendship being present.

Affection isn’t what keeps a friendship running. Friendships require work, and affection won’t necessarily give you the dedication and strength to put that work into a friendship.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. A friend loves at all times, and is born as a brother for adversity. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

That is what a friend is. A friend will accept danger to protect you. A friendship is the meeting and communion of two minds. Delving into philosophy, theology – any topics that stimulate the mind – that’s what friendship is. A friend is a friend in good times and bad. A friend is he who encourages you in your dreams. Your friends will give you kind and sincere advice that makes your heart glad. If ever a friend hurts you with an unpleasant truth, you will know he does it with love. And a friend will always be there to lift you up when you fall, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

What greater love than that of a true friend?

Friends are patient and kind; friends do not envy or boast; a friend is not arrogant or rude. A friend does not insist on his own way; nor is he irritable or resentful; he does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices at the truth. A friend bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Friendship never ends.

If you engage in intellectual interchange with a person, treating them kindly, caring for them before yourself, I think it is impossible to not find great affection for them in your heart.

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy, you must have somebody to divide it with. ~Mark Twain

What is friendship when complete?
Tis to share all joy and grief;
Tis to lend all due relief
From the tongue, the heart, the hand;
Tis to mortgage house and land;
For a friend be sold a slave;
Tis to die upon a grave,
If a friend therein do lie.

~Anne Finch

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