So this week, I have been out with not 1 BUT 4 of my favourite girlies this week. Each “date” was unique in its own special way because of how diverse in character each one of my friends is.
Previously, I blogged about how I hadn’t in the past been the greatest friend because of my lack of commitment. This is something I firmly believe that God is working on in me and over the past couple of months, I have seen my friendships flourish beyond what I could have ever imagined and I truly mean that.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honour.
Its easy for us to get really comfortable in our friendships and then without even realising it, we have drifted so far to the other side (wherever that is!) that we are no longer as close to those we once valued and appreciated. I know that I’ve been there before and I think its for this reason I am now intentionally going out of my way to show appreciation to those I closest to me.
I am in no way trying to make out that I am perfect as I’m sure my nearest and dearest would tell you, but I do know that I am making more of an effort when it comes to my relationships. And so I should. Because I think a lot of us tend to neglect our friendships because we forget, that just like everything else in life that is valuable, we need to take care to nurture it in order for it to never become stagnant but to keep growing consistently and healthily.
So in honour of one of my BFF’s birthday being today, (actually it was yesterday, but I didn’t get round to posting this in time!) I thought I would leave you a few tips that I think are effective to having (and maintaining!) a good friendship!
1.Does my bum look BIG in this… well, YES!
HONESTY really is the key! NO relationship can function without it or it ends up being false and false friendships WILL always falter, it’s just a matter of time!! We need to get to a place in our friendships where we can speak the truth in L O V E to our friends. Be the type of friend that will tell your BFF that her bum DOES look huge in that outfit and that’s just not the sort of message she wants to portray. If she is a good friend, she will value it because she knows that your opinion comes from a good place.
2. She said, SHE said, so WE said…
We need to be able to speak LIFE into our friends. Our conversations need to be less about what the problem is and more about where the solution is. If the conversations you have with your friends leave you feeling negative, inferior and just down in the dumps, then maybe you need to do a friend check and SORT IT OUT! When I leave a social with my girlfriends, I come back feeling charged and ready to face the world because there’s been a “lifting up” during our time together. Start having more “glorious conversations” (as my lovely Pastor put it!). I am not saying to wear a mask and pretend like everything is okay though. (Go back to tip No.1!) What I am saying is lets look for ways to encourage and admonish each other in our dreams, visions and goals. If you feel like jumping off a cliff every time you come from seeing a certain friend, maybe its time you considered jumping ship instead! JUST SAYIN’!
3. Food GLORIOUS Food…
Food makes EVERYTHING better including friendship! Don’t restrict going out with friends for dinner, to birthdays only. Make plans to meet, monthly or even weekly in order to strengthen your bond. Your girlfriend may not be your boyfriend or your husband but it doesn’t mean you cant go on “dates.”
4. Say you’ll be there…
Those that know me can tell you how great I am when it comes to picking up my phone…NOT! I have to be honest; I am not a “call me maybe” type of gal! I would much rather send my girlfriends random texts of encouragement or meet up every so often. If something isn’t your forte, don’t force it, but make sure you do SOMETHING to show that you do care weather it be a heartfelt text message, skyping once a week or even arranging a sleep over with your girlfriend. I love my friends staying over because there’s no time restraint to our time together. Remember, sleep overs are not just for kids!
5. Eat, P R A Y, Love…
Praying with and for friends helps strengthen our friendships because it keeps it from being carnal and puts Christ at the centre where He belongs. This is one of the most valuable things you can do as a friend because not only will it keep you in good friendships but also it will keep you AWAY from the wrongs ones. If you have to, perhaps consider praying for some friends from a distance. (Go back to tip 3!)
6. And Finally…
As much as you LOVE your friends, its always good to give each other S P A C E! Its not one we hear often but proverbs 25:17 has a point when it says:
“And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome;
show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up.”
F.Y.I, its not with your girlfriend that you “shall become one flesh” with!
Right now, one of my BFF’s is being held hostage by the shackles of COURSEWORK. I don’t think she would appreciate it if I kept calling her all hours of the day or pestering her to come out to eat during this period. This time is crucial to her final mark (1st class IJN!) so I choose to honour her by simply stepping back so she can FOCUS. I have another friend who I meet up with maybe 4/5 times a year since we live on opposites sides of London and have families to look after. But when we do meet, its like we have seen each other every week because we are as close as ever. Time apart shouldn’t mean you drift apart!
So these are just a few things I am doing to keep my friendships growing, hope they help YOU!
Flourish Dudes xxx