Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful Tidbits: Wounds from a Friend - Nov. 6th

Proverbs 27:6 – “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”

When the wound from a friend is fresh, I am in complete disagreement with this verse. It hurts when a friend points out my… uh… shortcomings. Looking back in hindsight, however, I am allowed to realize the value of these "wounds" and more importantly, the friend.

There is one moment burned into my memory that reminds me of the truth of this verse. Early in my marriage, I was out with two friends. One friendship was on a much deeper level than the other but the three of us were out together nonetheless. We were enjoying some ice cream and conversation. (I believe that was what I was doing. The ice cream part is fuzzy to me but seems to be a likely choice.)

I don’t remember exactly what it was that I was saying. I simply remember that my words were not very encouraging about my husband. It might have even been one of those “husband bashing” moments. My girlfriend (who has been one of my very best friends for years) lent a listening ear. She’s great about that. That’s one of the reasons I love her so much. The other friend (who was really more on the level of an acquaintance at the time) lent a listening ear but then had the audacity to touch her fingers to her lips as she spoke to me. “Be careful about the words you allow to come out of your mouth about your husband. The way you speak about your husband will affect your feelings toward him. Make sure you speak kindly to others about your husband.”

To say I was furious would be an understatement. I did not understand where she got off telling me what I should say about MY husband. Was she even invited to join my actual friend and myself for the evening or did she invite herself?

Hindsight changed my opinion. Today, I am thankful for this dear friend. We have begun scheduling dates on the calendar for breakfast to catch up. I look forward to my time with this friend who took the time to call me out. She is someone I now actively seek advice from. She’s had more experience in life than me and I am interested as to how she has handled different situations.

The confrontation with this friend changed my life. It told me how much she valued me. She believed in me enough and in my marriage to risk the potential friendship at hand. I often remember her words as I talk about my husband. Oh, sure, I still have my moments of complaining, but more often than not, I remember to speak positively about my husband. True to her words, I feel better about my husband after 14+ years of marriage than I did early on. It probably has a big part to do with finding the positive about him and sharing that with others.

That best friend who simply listened to me that night still listens. We’ve come a long way in our friendship and she has often "wounded" me to make me better as well. This only makes her friendship more valuable.

It may be painful in the moment, but the wounds from a friend certainly are better than the empty flattery of someone else. I am thankful for the wounds from sincere friends because it reveals how very much they care.

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