If you thought making friends on the elementary school playground was difficult, wait until you’re an adult or become a parent. Being a friend is expensive. It’s an investment. Friendships require our time, energy, and resources. Being a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. friend is easier said than done – it’s not for the faint of heart!
I don’t realize how wonderful my friends are until I meet someone who is NOT. I also appreciate their honesty and authenticity. When a friend and I were becoming disconnected because of a misunderstanding, she finally approached me and initiated a heart-to-heart conversation. It was long overdue – mainly because I was too prideful to admit my wrongdoings and too fearful of pushing her farther away – but, because of our deep love for each other, we reconciled and our relationship is even stronger.
Adulting is hard, plain and simple. When you become a parent and you have this tiny human relying on you, adulting seems impossible. But I’ve learned over the years that genuine friends are like truffles from heaven. They are blessings from God that we are to savor, appreciate, and enjoy on earth.
Real friends FORGIVE you. Unresolved issues, hurt feelings, and anger can easily destroy a friendship. But if you are willing to be vulnerable, restoration can occur.
Real friends RECIPROCATE the behavior of Jesus. I thank God for my friends because they follow the example of Jesus and love me despite my mistakes. They are kind because He is kind. They are forgiving because He forgives. If we want a friend, we have to be a friend. If we want our friends to be patient with us, then we have to be patient with them. If we want them to accept our faults, we have to accept theirs too.
Real friends INCLUDE you. I can tell you from personal experience that being excluded, intentional or not, is one of the worst feelings ever. And when your child is not included, it will shatter your heart. Even if you know the person is busy or unavailable, invite them anyway.
Real friends ENCOURAGE you. Friends will lift you in prayer and support you through tough decisions, turbulent seasons, and difficult situations. Allow them to lean on you because there will come a time when you’ll need to lean on them.
Real friends NEED you. God created humans to be in community. Simply put, we cannot do this life alone!
Real friends DREAM with you. Surround yourself with positive and nurturing people who believe in you. People with dreams and ambitions will propel you towards making your own goals a reality!
Real friends SYMPATHIZE with you. They acknowledge your hardships because there is a 99.9999999% chance they’ve experienced it too. As a mother, it’s comforting to know the majority of my friends have been in the trenches. Speaking of trenches, there is nothing more humbling or frustrating than potty training a toddler. If you need me, I’ll be washing another load of soiled laundry or cleaning the bathroom.
Jesus, take the wheel … and thank you for my friends!