I saw a couple the other day sitting in a restaurant; I couldn’t help but notice them. They were quiet, alternating between looking off into the distance and checking their cell phones. Sitting so close, but yet a world away. I couldn’t help but think what happened to get them here. I am sure at what time, they were a happy couple, filled with fondness and mutual admiration, lots to share and hear, a couple who cared about one another and wanted to repair when there was conflict. It is so easy for all of us to fall into this loveless existence with others, no longer knowing each other and although together, still feeling so alone. My encouragement to you today is to actively build and maintain a friendship with those you love, seeking to know and understand them better, listening when they share. Let your words communicate love and interest. In conflict, listen for the deeper longing and need that is buried in every fight. Could you share in even understanding how they could feel the way they do? Frustration and conflict typically stem from deeper needs that we just don’t know how to communicate, but if we are clever enough to reveal those needs, we deepen our friendships and grow closer instead of farther apart. Psalm 34:18 The lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in face you are doing. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.