Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

-John 15:13

As a friend, I commit to love you with everything that I’ve got. No cost is too great to help you out in a pinch. No distance is too great for me to run to your side if you need a shoulder to cry on. I am your friend, I love you. Nothing you could do, even killing me, would change a thing. I love you.

This post is going to piggy-back on the previous one about friendship, and just expound what it means to be a friend, particularly a friend of mine.

Too often, people think love and intense love belongs to lovers only. But, I love my friends more ardently than anyone or anything on earth. I love my sibling as siblings, but I love my siblings as friends so much greater and stronger. I love my parents as parents, but I love my parents as friends like no other love I can express. When I find that one person who stops my breath, holds my heart in limbo, and throws my brain into lockdown, when God places the one person I can love with the love He loves the church into my life, then that love will be wild. But, I will love her like a lover, I will love her as a spouse, (eventually), that love will be expressed differently. 

But, even that love is nothing compared to my love for her as a friend. My love for my friends compels me to lay down my life, my ambitions, my future, my finances, my happiness, and my safety for them. I would do anything for my friends. The love I have for them surpasses anything I’ve ever felt. 

Like a country music love song, where life is perfect when you’re standing next to someone you love. When everything is laid on the line for the true love, the perfect love, that’s the love I want. Sure, country music is saturated in false loves, selfish loves, and weak loves, but that adds to the feeling and power of a true love.

The love I have for my friends needs no reciprocation. My love is not dependant on their return of it, I love them because I love them, not because they love me; and that’s not only what love is to me, that’s what friendship is all about.

Sometimes being the perfect friend requires us to not be the favorite friend. Meaning, sometimes we have to say and do things that the other person will not like but that are for their good. Being the perfect friend means you’re not always liked very well, but that’s okay. Friendship isn’t about me: it’s about me and you together. Totally commitment to another person until death. That’s all it takes to be a friend.

A friend is someone who always has your back. A friend is someone who will always believe in you. A friend is someone who would take the bullet before they would allow someone else to hurt you. A friend is a friend. Right and wrong are concepts that we often deem irrelevant in friendship. As long as two people stay friends, nothing else matters, right?

Wrong. A friendship founded on deceit and falsehood simply for the sake of staying together, is a friendship that will eventually fall. Friends need to be honest with each other, and in equal proportion they ought to conceal from one another their true feelings if they will be harmful to the other person. A friend can’t be a good friend if they only ever tell you when you’re doing wrong and what’s wrong with you. Sometimes you’ve got to hear some encouragement, which is still the truth, just not a hurtful truth. The bottom line is: a friend loveth at all times. 

All times. There is never a time they stop loving you. It’s because they love you that they say and do what they say and do. They love you. That never changes, even should time and distance separate you, that love remains. It is unbreakable and unforgettable, because they are your friend. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Not his parents, not his siblings or spouse: his friends. The love for my friends is the greatest love I can express; and God, in all of His glory and majesty, has called me His friend.

As always, thanks for reading.

the anonymous novelist

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