Research may be throwing a kink in what I’ve always told my two sons:
“Friends will come and go, but you will always have your brother.”
Research sponsored by the National Institute on Aging shows that friends may be more important than family. The research focused on our health and well-being. It should be no surprise to us that positive relationships, both in a strong family and with good friends, are good for our well-being, but the research indicates that, as we age, the impact of our friends becomes more pronounced.
We don’t pick our families. We’re stuck with them—whether we like them or not—but we choose our friends. We choose our friends because of similar interests, shared passions, and … well, because we like each other.
We tend to think our family will become more important to us in our twilight years. We give that appearance, too, because they are the ones who take care of us. As we need more assistance, family members are the ones who step in as caregivers. But sometimes their help may be more from a sense of obligation.
But long-time friends provide a different strength. They have stood the test of time, and we receive a deeper joy in their presence.
This simply underscores the importance of surrounding ourselves with the right people. Let’s bring people into our lives who share similar interests and passions, but let’s make sure they are also the kind who …
… bring out the best in us.
… make us want to be better people.
… encourage us.
… bring joy to our hearts.
- “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice” (Prov. 27:9).
- “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Eccl. 4:9-10).
- “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
What better friends can you have than those who share your love for Christ?
Surround yourself with the right people. They just may help you live longer.
One last note about my two sons. They are now in their 30s and they’re best friends. And that makes this old dad really happy.