My best friend and I were recently talking about how hard it is to make friends now that we’re both married and have children. We know how important it is to have friends around to support us, but we both now live so far away from our pre-marriage friends, and it’s hard to keep up just by phone, text, and Facebook now that babies are involved. Making new friends involves a lot of work, time, and energy that neither one of us tend to have in abundance right now.
On top of needing to make friends of my own, my devotion this morning brought up the concept of my children going out and making their own friends eventually, and it was a little frightening to think about. What kind of an example am I setting for C about how to make friends and what kind of friends she needs in her life?
Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous person is a guide to his friend, but the path of the wicked leads them astray.” It seems like such a simple concept: make spiritually solid friends to help you navigate life and avoid spiritually devoid people who would lead you down destructive paths. But how do we know who is “righteous” and who is “wicked” when we’re just desperately trying to make friends at a local babywearers’ meeting or moms’ group?
The one local friend I’ve made since moving here, I actually met at the park. She was there with her two young daughters, and we struck up a conversation while her oldest and C played. I don’t remember much about that conversation, but I do know we talked briefly about our looking for a church home and what her church was like, and a few other values important to both our parenting styles. Before we left, this mom invited us to visit their church with them the next Sunday, which we did and loved. We actually just joined that church this past week!
The lessons I’m finally learning about making friends that I want to pass on to my daughter are these:
Always be yourself when meeting new people. Talk openly about the things that are important to you. People who will support you and walk with you through life will be drawn to your values. Those who would lead you astray will know you are strong in your beliefs and generally drift away toward someone more in line with their own thinking. We attract what we put out there for the world to see. If we are strong in our faith, we will attract others who are strong in their faith. If we are wishy-washy, we’ll attract others who don’t know what they want or believe – or worse, we’ll be easy prey for those wanting to use us for their own purposes.
Sometimes, though, Dear Daughter, you’ll befriend someone who is attracted to your strength, but is still looking for her own. It’s a great thing to love on someone who hasn’t yet found faith. Be there for her. Offer her hospitality, and draw her into the warmth and love you’ve come to know as the source of your hope. Share that hope with her. And always surround yourself with like-minded believers who can encourage and support you as you minister to this lost one’s heart. She needs you. And you need a loyal band of sisters to help you show her Christ.
I pray continually that I will live out strong relationship-building in front of you, so you will know what it looks like to cultivate your own sisterhood. And I will pray for those who will one day be your bosom buddies and kindred spirits. I pray for their strength and faith as they navigate life in their search for you.
May each of your enjoy deep friendship today, and I’d love to hear if you have any tips for making new friends!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.