Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Secret to Successful Friendships

A friend and I were talking this past weekend about relationships and friendships. We are both mothers and homemakers. We are both about to give birth to our 4th children. We are alike in many ways. But the one thing that truly unites us is that we are women and at our core we crave relationships. Unfortunately, as women, we often seek out a best friend. And in that best friend we are looking for someone to meet the majority of our relational needs. We want someone who always gives us great advice, someone to always take our side, someone who shares our interests and our sense of humor. We want her to always be available to spend time with us, and it doesn’t hurt if she is the same size as us so we can swap clothes. We want her to pursue us as equally as we pursue her. We want her to make us her best friend too.

Whoa. That is a lot of pressure to put on any one person; and a lot of high, unreachable expectations. No wonder so many friendships are wrought with pain; with hurt feelings, jealousy, and disappointment. This past year I learned a secret, first told to my husband and I by a man interestingly; an elder at our church. And then just this past weekend my friend said something similar in our conversation about friendships.

Here is the secret: in life we need to have a group of different people, a council if you will, who make up our circle or friends. Each person in this council will play a different role in your life. They each have differing gifts and personalities that will complement your life. You can go to each respective person for each of those needs you have; one friend gives advice, one finds joy in serving and is always there to lend a hand, one shares your quirky sense of humor, etc. When we live in relationship this way we can avoid putting all of our expectations on one person, thus taking a burden off of them and ourselves.

God created us to live in relationship with others; not just one or two people. Think about your friendships. Have you been unduly burdening one person with too much? Maybe it is time to broaden your horizons; reach out to a new friend. Sometimes the best way to start this is by offering to serve others. Or maybe you have more friends in your life than you realize and you need to recognize the ways in which they complement you and count your blessings. 

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  1. <3 :) Thankful for the friendship I have in you & the ability to learn from one another as we go on this crazy journey called life!

    1. I <3 you Amanda! I treasure our friendship and the time we get to share laughing and growing together!