I love Facebook. It’s such a fun way to stay connected with friends (both old and new) and family.
But as fun as Facebook is, it just doesn’t compare to having face-to-face friendships. And with a world that is ever increasingly about social media and the “digital age”, we have to be intentional about real-life, face-to-face friendships – both making them and keeping them.
I am so thankful for the sweet friendships God has given me, and I have had to learn a lot about what it means to be a good friend. By nature, I am more introverted until I really get to know someone. Translated – I used to always wait on the other person to initiate. Well, as you can imagine, that made for some lonely seasons in my life, because many other women were waiting for me to initiate toward them.
Thankfully, the Lord has been teaching me what it means to be a true, “face-to-face” friend. Though I am still learning, here are some of the lessons He has taught me thus far:
- Be the Initiator. I have had to learn to initiate towards others. And you know what? I have reaped tremendous blessings from getting outside my comfort zone. Though you won’t always get the response you want, most often other women are waiting for someone to reach out to them and befriend them. And if you struggle with loneliness, I can’t emphasize this enough. The Lord will bless you with sweet friendships when you seek out and befriend other women. I love the way the KJV translates Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Do you want to have friends? Then you need to be friendly and initiate.
- Make Time. As with any other relationship, friendships take time and effort. Life is very busy, and if we don’t make time in our schedules, friendships can fall by the wayside. Schedule time for coffee, playdates, shopping trips, etc. Get creative, but make an effort to regularly schedule time with friends.
- Be Loyal. Let’s face it, sometimes we can feel like our friends let us down. Maybe she didn’t text or call back, or maybe she never initiates getting together. That’s where love, grace, and loyalty come in. There is no perfect friend (except Jesus Christ!), so simply be the best friend you can be by being loyal. Here is what a loving, loyal friend looks like in action: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
- Pray Together. One of the fastest ways to make friends is to form a prayer group. Sharing prayer requests and praying with other women is a wonderful way to experience a closeness that nothing else can bring. My “Prayer Square” (as we call it) at church has quickly become near and dear to my heart. There are four of us, and we try to get together once a month to pray together. We also text each other during the week with concerns that come up (a blessing of the digital age!). Just ask the Lord to bring to mind one or two other women with whom you could pray, and then initiate a time and place.
We were made for friendships. They bring such joy and blessing to our lives. Keep enjoying Facebook, but make sure to take time for face-to-face friendships in your life.
How do you make time for your friends? What things do you enjoy doing together?