10 Ways To Build Lasting Friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

So, here are my 10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships:

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Not all of my friends are women.  Men add a richness to our lives that is unique in its own way.

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie
First posted in October of 2016

10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie

No One Is More Important Than Jesus

These words of Oswald Chambers had a profound effect on me the first (and every) timehouse I read them.  I have many friends who mean much to me but not as much as my Jesus.  I have a loving family whom I adore but they don’t mean as much to me as my Jesus.  I have a church family that I think the world of but they don’t mean as much to me as Jesus.  God gave me the most awesome man on earth as a helpmate, but Jesus surpasses the love he has for me.  (Yes, he’s comfortable with that because he also knows that Jesus’ love for him is greater than mine.)  There is no one in this world greater than my  Jesus!

Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.”  Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.  Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died–I gave up everything?  I became ill?  I got disheartened?  Or–I saw the LORD?

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.  “In all the world there is none but Thee, my God, there is none but Thee.”  Keep paying the price.  Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision. 

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest (Westwood, NJ; Barbour and Company, Incl, 1935), 195.

I thank my God every time I remember you.  Philippians 1:3

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sisters

Dear, dear family, I came across this beautiful example of loving one another and sharing life’s meaning recently.  Please, pass it on to your own friends.  The message is simply – – we need one another.  Jesus said, when answering the question what is the greatest commandment,  “Love God and Love one another”.  (Matthew 22:37-40)  There is no better way to fulfill the basic human need for love than to just do it!

mother daughter

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and and visiting with her mother.  As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter..

“Don’t forget your sisters,” she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass.  “They’ll be more important as you get older.  No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters.  Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.”

“Remember that ‘sisters’ means ALL the women…your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too.  “You’ll need other women.  Women always do.”

The young woman thought this was a funny piece of advice.  Haven’t I just gotten married?  Haven’t just joined the couple-world?  I’m now a married woman! A grown-up!  Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!

But she listened to her mother.  She kept contact with her sisters and made more sisterswomen friends each year.  As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about.  As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world this list says it all:

hourglassTime passes.

 

 

 

 

New lifeLife happens.

 

 

 

distanceDistance separates.

 

 

children

Children grow up.

 

 

 

jobJobs come and go.

 

 

 

loveLove changes.

 

 

 

failurePeople don’t do what they’re supposed to do.

 

 

 

 

tearsHearts break.

 

 

cemetaryParents die.

 

 

 

broken promisesColleagues forget favors.

 

 

 

 

retirementCareers end.

 

 

 

BUT……..Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you, a girl friend is never farther than needing her can reach.  When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley’s rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley’s end.  Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you…Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family: ALL BLESS OUR LIFE!

The world wouldn’t be the same without women, and neither would I… When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead.  Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Worship Him in music – – From Sister Act 2

Heavenly Father, You created us to need one another.  You knew there would be a special bond between us.  LORD, let us understand and know what You would have Your Sisters do and be.  Let us share Your Agape (the kind of love that puts the other first) love with all.  Make it so!

Forever Friend

I love to watch children as they play.  There is such a freedom to express who they really are.

childrens-play-zone-01We took our God-niece (4-year old) to Macdonald’s Playland for supper and, of course, ate with all the other brave moms, dads, grandparents, and sitters in the community.  Miss Annabelle (AB) was certainly more interested in playing than eating but was only looking  at the tubes and slides.  I realized the problem when I remembered that she had commented in the car that someone had told her not to be afraid of the red slide.  I asked the mom sitting next to us if I could introduce AB to her daughter and would she help her negotiate the playland.  So, introductions done, AB and her new friend went off to explore and learn.  A short while later AB said she couldn’t find her friend, who was hiding in the bubble.  She went to find her and had discovered that she didn’t want to play because AB didn’t want to go on the red tube/slide.   A bit later AB came up with a new friend named Emma.  As they played I noticed AB still was playing on the green slide but Emma wasn’t worried about that.  She had a friend and that was what was most important to her.

What a picture of Jesus’ love for us.  He doesn’t care if we don’t want to play on the red tube/slide,  He just wants to be our friend.  What a reminder of James 2:8.  We honor the Royal Law, of which we are a part when we ‘love our neighbors (friends) as ourselves.

What a Friend We Have In Jesus