Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday's Top Ten Plus Ten [Qualities of a BFF]

Melany and I decided to tackle another rather large topic this week. I'm curious to see how many shared 'qualities of a BFF' we have written....
Thankfully, I have many people in my life that enter into this BFF category (one of them being Melany's mother), which makes today's top ten easy to write. God has blessed me with many BFF's who uphold these particular qualities that I find extremely valuable and that I myself try to uphold:
Especially in my marriage with my #1 BFF!
Trustworthiness. Prayer requests are huge for me in this one. I trust that this BFF is keeping whatever I told them to themselves, but also actually taking whatever "it" is up in prayer. If I ask them to pray and they say absolutely, I trust they will. I also want confidence in their discretion. To be trustworthy one must keep promises, tell the truth, and follow through on what is said.

Selflessness. I was the queen of selfishness. I only thought of my own desires and how to attain them, irregardless of how it affected those around me. If I focus on putting Jesus first, others second my myself last, I find more joy in life than I ever thought possible. (JOY = Jesus Others Yourself) Putting others first helps me attain trustworthiness, offer forgiveness without measure, and extend love without expecting anything in return because this is what Jesus does for me.

Really Listening. Women are guilty of this irritating trait that while listening to someone they allow their own thoughts to interfere. When I find myself doing this, I'm only ever thinking of what I could add to the conversation rather than truly listening to my friend. Women's brains never shut up. In order to truly listen we must make a conscience effort to do so.

Be Committed. What's a friendship (or a relationship in general) if one isn't committed to making it work? Whether it's your spouse or a BFF, recognize that relationships take work. Recognize that to love is a choice you make to be committed. Believe it or not Nicholas Sparks has the right idea  here... "Pattern of Devotion" - I like that and it need not apply only to marriage...

Hold one another accountable. I have two specific memories in mind with two different BFF's who pointed out my error with my best interest in mind and held me to a standard I wasn't keeping, all the while knowing I should. If you have a friend who's willing to hold your feet to the fire, keep 'em. They are the one's who love you unconditionally and are not willing to see you screw things up. In one situation it took me two weeks to get over myself and realize that my BFF was right, and when I accepted this fact, made the necessary changes, and thanked her, our relationship grew ten fold.
When I realized my defensive behavior was me trying to justify, I grew leaps and bounds.
(Read about dealing with accountability and the conviction and correction that comes with it and then take this piece of your relationship seriously. How are you to grow in character without trials, tribulations, mistakes made and lessons learned? God uses all of that and so much more to draw you closer to Him. He'll use your BFF more times than not, I can promise you that.)

Be Kind and Loving. With accountability one can seem harsh, and sometimes directness has it's place, but these qualities must be remembered in all circumstances. There is so much that loving kindness does in a friendship, holding one accountable is one such act of kindness (if done so with selflessness). Put your friend before yourself - with Christ being our perfect example - and these qualities will seem easier to act upon (notice I didn't say easy).

Be understanding. Sometimes things come up and sometimes things just happen. I like to remember this truth in regards to this quality:
Be Transparent. If one isn't willing to recognize their imperfections and admit them out loud, pride will get in the way of any relationship. If you're not transparent in sins, mistakes, skeletons in the closet, etc. etc. how can your BFF pray for you? Hold you accountable? Help you?
Plus, if one isn't transparent, the next two qualities of a BFF will be rather difficult...

Quick to Forgive. I cannot imagine any of my friends living up to these expectations perfectly day in and day out. I also struggle with someone who throws me to the dogs the moment I screw up. The truth of the matter is this: at the end of the day not one person on the face of the planet is perfect, least of all me. I want confidence in the fact that when that day comes, that I royally screw up, our friendship isn't lost forever.

Quick to apologize. On that same note, one must be willing to admit faults, ask for forgiveness and take the necessary steps in order to repair the situation and relationship. No one is perfect and the friend who's willing to admit their imperfections is a trustworthy and selfless BFF worth keeping.

(Want to know more about this incredible friendship? Read my page titled, The Gospel.)

The women who I have a discipleship relationship with fit into this topic for so so so so so so so so many reasons. I encourage you to find your own discipleship relationship, for it is the process implemented by Jesus Himself and was commanded to continue until His return (read Matthew 28:19-20). I promise that if you find a relationship centered around learning about Him, you will find your earthly BFF. (Read about discipleship here.)

Before signing off, don't forget about Melany's list!

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