Recently, I took a poll among a few girlfriends about what makes a good friend. The various responses included unconditional love and acceptance, mutual respect, being a confidant, a willingness to enjoy the other’s activities even when it’s not your favorite. Unanimously, they agreed that a lasting friendship is the result of hard work and deep commitment. Someone even had a metaphor for friendship: “A good friend is like a bra … it is close to your heart and always there for support.” Funny, but it has a ring of truth.

As I look at the characteristics of a friend I know that my husband of over 38 years ranks as my closest friend. In fact he is my “BFF”—my best friend forever! Since we are empty nesters, I am discovering more ways to strengthen our friendship.

My husband enjoys golf, so I will tag along to drive the golf cart while he plays the course. I never had an interest in golf but he enjoys the challenge and finds it relaxing. My BFF loves golf, so I’ve chosen to embrace this activity as his life companion.

He loves reading, especially a novel or a good fiction book. I do not particularly enjoy fiction or novels, however; we have a disconnect on our reading choices. My list is narrowed to historicals, biographies, and Christian non-fiction, while his list is broader. Recently, as he was finishing a fiction book he handed it to me and remarked, “If you read this you won’t be able to put it down.” Well, this is a familiar remark on most of the books he devours. I could not imagine reading the 400-plus page book. Yet, my commitment to join his world prompted me to make a good effort.

Wow! He did not over-sell the book’s appeal. It was a page-turner that captured my attention for 10 days!   Its message salted our conversations for a while.

My decision to join his activities affirms my commitment to my BFF and deepens our friendship. It is well worth the time and energy.