Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” The Bible has a lot to say about friends and friendship. Right from the beginning when God said ‘It is not good for man to be alone’, there has been strength, comfort, solace and love from friendships. Proverbs in particular has a lot to say about friends: how some friends are only attracted to easy times and wealth (Proverbs 14:20 19:4), how friendship requires love and forgiveness rather than hot temper and rash words (see Proverbs 22:24), how betrayal from a friend goes deep but even a friend’s wounds can help us (Proverbs 27:6).

This past week, I have seen the kindness of friends manifested in so many ways as they actively sought us out to give us anniversary gifts and ways to bless us. Their gifts reflected their knowledge of us, as they sought ways to express their love that would be meaningful to us. We are grateful beyond word for these acts of kindness.

One present was a book of proverbs about ‘Soul Mates’. Here are some of its words of wisdom on the subject of love:

* “Love, like a river, cuts a new path when it meets an obstacle.”
* “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”
* “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
* “Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange.”
* “Love is a willingness to give with no expectation of receiving anything in return.”
* “You like someone when you learn what makes them laugh. You love someone when you learn what makes them cry.”
* “Don’t waste time looking for the perfect lover… spend time creating the perfect love.”
* “We can only learn to love by loving.”
* “Love is a glimpse of eternity.”

One of the last sayings in the book is “The moments we really live for are those when we have done things in the spirit of love.” To all those who helped us celebrate our silver wedding anniversary – with cards, presents, quizzes, texts, emails, photographs and time spent with us – we thank you for the things done in the spirit of love and are immensely grateful for the God-given gifts of friendship which add immeasurably to life’s wealth.

One of our lovely gifts