Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Lifelong Friend?

5 Elements of Lasting Friendships-2

I walked nervously to her front door. Years had passed.

The last time I saw Valerie her son was reading mid-grade fiction. Now he’s learning to fly airplanes.

Where did the time go? Different seasons led our families in different directions.

Friendships can lurch to a sudden stop, but so often friendships slowly drift apart.

When we reconnected with Valerie over dinner, conversation picked up almost where it left off, and so did the laughter.

It got me thinking about the kinds of friends we carry with us through life. The ones we don’t let go of–the ones who won’t let go of us.

Friendship2

Following Jesus means sticking by our friends throughout the roller-coaster ride of parenting. It means supporting each other in every season of marriage.

As our lives speed up, let’s not let the quality of our friendships diminish. Let’s not let our consumerist culture seep into the fabric of our friendship.

Real community isn’t plastic, and relationships are never disposable.

I grew up before “globalization” became a buzzword, when dial-up was still a thing. Friendship required real, face-to-face interaction, and unfriending someone required more than a keystroke.

When disagreeing we tread lightly because we knew the same people would be on our lives in a year or decade later.

  1. Enduring friendships give each other the benefit of the doubt.

In the last 20 years the friendship landscape has drastically changed. We are slow to ask questions, quick to judge, and we hand out advice in lightning speed.

A quick glance of Facebook proves just how arrogant and condescending our culture has grown. We’ve forgotten how to mind our manners and play nice.

We’ve forgotten the essential ingredients of enduring friendship–tolerance and respect. When did we become so impassioned by our own opinions that we discount everyone else’s?

Friendship

I’m just susceptible to the chip on my shoulder as the next. I hate to admit that I’ve caught myself feeling superior to friends and neighbors in the way I parent or teach my kids.

2. Enduring friendships require humility. Let’s face it, no one wants to be friends with a self-righteous know-it-all.

I know this one from experience. Thankfully, I had friends that forgave me. That’s what lasting friendships take, isn’t it?

3. Lasting friendship requires forgiveness.

Recently I’ve heard my friends bemoan our “multi-level marketing culture,” the  kind of transactional friendship that makes us all cringe.

Folks, let’s stop being like this. Let’s stop giving to get. That’s creepy. Instead seek to give, build up, and encourage. 

Enduring friendships weather life’s seasons with grace and acceptance. Time slips away, but let’s not let our friends.

Be the friend that reaches out. Host a dinner party and catch up with old friends that have drifted. Bridge the gap time creates.

I’m so glad my friend Valerie reached out to me. The day I stepped onto her front porch with a salad in hand, conversation and friendship resumed as if it had never stopped.

And for her son who has grown taller than me. I’ll cheer for him when he makes it into the Air Force Academy. Hopefully I’ll be there to hug his parents that he gets married.

Ultimately that’s what lifelong friendship is all about, marking the major events.

4. Lifelong friendship bears witness to life’s milestones. It acknowledges life’s big and small accomplishments. It’s a hundred tiny gestures compounded over time.

Don’t underestimate the small gesture of friendship. It’s in these small acts of love that a greater love story unfolds, a story grace, love, and acceptance.

Lasting friendships echo a greater love. They reveal to us the One who is Love.

“A friend loves at all times,” Proverbs 17:17.

**I’d love to hear from YOU! Do you have lifelong friends> What are some of secrets of lasting friendship that you’ve experienced?

 

How to Speak God’s Love Language

For Beginners

This week I hosted a live Facebook event, and the idea really scared me at first, but I’m trying to face my fears.

If you tuned in, thanks. I’m making these chats a weekly thing because I need community, and I know so many people in my life who need it too.

I’ve prayed for community. For years and I’ve been scared of letting myself be known. I think as women, we can intimidate each other and for years I battled an inferiority complex.

Growing up, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t insecure.

The devil wants to keep us insecure. He wants to keep us intimidated of each other, and He wants to keep us isolated.

The enemy has a target on your back. You’re so much easier to take down when you’re not encouraged and built up in community.

I want you to know that there’s a seat for you here. Each Friday we’ll gather at noon on Facebook Live.

God has answered my prayer for community in all of you! If you’re also looking for a place to connect, join me every Friday at noon for Faith Fridays to encourage and enrich one another.

We’ll talk about identity in Christ, faith, overcoming insecurity, joy. We’ll talk about grace and more grace and how to stop living a defeated life. You probably have topics you want to tackle, so bring them.

Faith Friday (1)

Back to today’s topic. What is God’s love language? Is it quality time or words of affirmation?

We can be really good at spending time with Jesus and not be following Him. It’s possible to spend our days singing praise affirmations to God, but not obey Him.

You can know everything there is to know about the Bible, but not do what it says. I’ve been there. I’ve been caught in this knowing/doing gap.

Several years ago God asked me to start encouraging people on social media, but I totally shunned that call. Instead of taking step one, I wanted to skip to step ten. Have you ever wanted to skip the steps God has asked you to take?

When we obey God it makes Him so happy, and I’m convinced that obedience is God’s primary love language.

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples that if they love Him, they’ll keep his commands. In other words, we prove our love to God by obeying Him.

What are ways you can speak God’s love language by this week? It might not be a big gesture, but know that every act of obedience is large to God.

To God, no act of obedience is ever small.

Your obedience sings a beautiful love song to God, a sweet melody of worship to your Father.

When you feed your kids and tackle the laundry, know you’re pleasing God. He sees you at your work. He sees you making dinner and doing those dishes.

Keep being faithful. Keep pouring out your worship to Him.

Next week on the blog and on my Facebook author page, we’re going to talk about celebrating! Have you thought about celebration as a spiritual discipline lately?

Are there ways you can incorporate more celebrating into your lives? How would this benefit you? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

***If you haven’t followed me on Facebook, would you do me a huge favor and like my page? ***