Flipping through the pages of the Bible you find multitudes of friends, from Ruth and Naomi to David and Jonathan to Barnabas and Paul. Each of these pairs supported one another and worked through hardships to help one another. This is the essence of friendship: mutual respect and value.

Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Here we see the basic formula for gaining true friendship: be a friend. We need to be able to say, “If my friend treated me how I treat them, I would still want to be friends with them.” In exchange, that friend will stay true in any circumstance.

Friendship can start in a multitude of ways, whether sitting together in Algebra class or crossing paths at a favorite restaurant. As a friendship grows in shared experiences, it will become deeper and richer. A friendship can begin from common interests or location, but it takes shared values and respect to hold it together.

Humans are made for relationship. A part of that is the need for friends to support us in difficult times and rejoice with us in good times. We are stronger together.