Having strong friendships can be a tremendous blessing in your life. They require an investment of time, commitment, and love, in its broadest definition found in I Corinthians 13. Developing and maintaining friendships throughout life can be challenging, especially as you go through different seasons of life. Given the gift of freedom to make choices, we should be wise in who we choose to develop relationships with. While also trusting God with our friendships because He is paramount to us realizing the blessings of healthy friendships.
Defining friendship can be complicated. Very rarely do we ask direct questions such as, would you be my friend or do you consider me a friend? Many of us often make statements that define someone as our friend based on shared experiences. What defines a friend to each of us is not so important as whom we decide to give that title to. The company we keep will influence our character and directions we take in life. Therefore, it is important to invest in friends that share similar values and have a sincere interest in your life journey. They are willing to encourage and also challenge you in love to seek the best for you. Ultimately, you want friends to support you, encourage you, and point you towards God, not pull you away from Him.
Nothing is meant to stay the same
Friendships are truly defined over time based on experiences with major life events. It’s a heart thing!
The times of triumph and tension can allow you to see and appreciate the nature of your friendships, especially their health. We know that life is full of seasons as clearly stated in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, so having a friend that loves at all times is a blessing.
Trusting God with our friendships is important since we do not always know the seasons that await us. Friendships also go through seasons and not all are intended to last a lifetime. As individuals grow and mature or do not for that matter, priorities and needs can shift. Such shifts and season changes can either strengthen the relationship or push the individuals apart, which may potentially cause that friendship to end. Not necessarily because anyone did anything to cause it to end, but the season for that relationship was over, the needs of individuals are no longer being met, or God’s purpose for that friendship has been fulfilled.
Not all Friendships are created equal
The depth of friendships varies and often changes over time. As I reflect on my friendships, the level of transparency and authenticity of an individual’s willingness, including mine, to share details of our victories and challenges in life often determine the depths of our friendships. It is the trust that is built through such interactions that our relationships can thrive. Yet, we have to realize we cannot and should not share everything with everybody. This is why using wisdom and seeking God in your friendships is so important. Especially, when dealing with private and personal matters like your marriage and children. We need to know that the other person has our best interest at heart and seeks to be in agreement with God’s purposes for us.
I’ve had a range of friendships throughout my life, some no longer and others that have thrived tremendously. With all relationships, trust is key especially as our needs and priorities shift through major life events or seasons. Trust not just in the other person, but also in God to stay in the midst of your friendships because we are imperfect people. With God, we will find grace and understanding in our friendships to continue to love and accept each other wholeheartedly.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with friendships, the blessings and lessons learned!