“Your dad is the best friend I’ve ever had,” the man told me, his wife nodding in agreement. If my calculations were correct, this couple had known my dad for no more than a year and a half, two years at the most. Later that day, an old family friend said the same thing.

What a powerful testimony!

Those two brief conversations sparked an internal dialogue that’s continued for the past year: What does it take to be a good — a really good — friend? Here are some lessons in meaningful friendships from observing what my dad and others do, both naturally and intentionally:

Be a Selfless Listener

There are times for two-way conversations, but sometimes a friend just needs a listening ear. A selfless listener doesn’t need to make her point or talk about herself. She asks questions and is genuinely curious about others.

Friendship Is an Open Door

My dad and stepmom have company all the time and always offer a warm welcome and simple hospitality. Although they’ve moved to a new state, they remain in close contact with family, friends, and former neighbors, who visit often.

Please visit me today at (in)courage for more thoughts on meaningful friendship!

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