I’ve heard it said and read it HERE that sometimes you need to go find some friends. We understand the concept of looking for many of the other important parts and people of life but when it comes to friends we often just sit and wait for the right gals to show up. Why do we think that will work? Finding a group of women that you can get to know and grow with needs to be an intentional act. You must be proactive in seeking them and then working to get to know them.
If you are sitting in your home, even if it’s full of people, and you are lonely, let me give you the go ahead to get out and find some friends. You don’t have to wait for them to come to you. God will not deliver them to your doorstep so you must GO forth, seek and build relationships.
This doesn’t seem to make sense to most of us. Throughout our school years it’s likely that we had a close friend or group of friends built right into our lives. We never went out looking, they were just there. College may have required a bit more effort when finding a “group”. Being a grown up, out on your own, working, raising children and juggling the demands of a life in full swing makes it even more challenging still. Difficult perhaps but definitely worth it.
Here are a few thoughts to consider when looking for women to share your life with:
#1 – Know who you would like in your life. What type of woman would you like in your life? Are you looking for someone to have fun with? Grow spiritually alongside? Exercise with? Do you tend to gravitate toward women who are extroverted or introverted? Do you love hanging out with the life of the party or someone with whom you can sip a glass of wine and have a quiet chat? Do you want to talk about Jesus? Raising children? Professional development? These are all factors you should think about ahead of time. You get to select the people who are closest to you in your life. Choose intentionally and wisely.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn
#2 - PUT YOURSELF in situations where you are intentionally working to get to know people. Depending on what you came up with for #1 this could mean joining a gym, church group/Bible study or professional group.
#3 – CREATE situations where you can get to know a group of women better. This could be around a common interest or even just around a dinner table. Check out IF:Table for specific direction. They suggest gathering a group of women around your dinner table once a month to get to know one another better through sharing food and conversation. Often they will provide recipes and there are always question cards to help facilitate the conversation.
#4 – In Restless, Jennie Allen suggests that we need to be willing to take risks and be uncomfortable. It’s not always easy to look someone in the eyes, ask questions with more depth or answer then sincerely. And if you’ve ever done these things then you know she’s right. But I’m hoping you’ve also discovered the joy that comes from stepping out and getting deeper into a friend’s life and heart.
#5 - Be prepared to commit to these women. Friendship is tough sometimes. If you’ve made it to 40 and beyond then you’ve had your feelings hurt and been disappointed probably more times than you can count. I sure hope you stuck it out with someone who hurt your feelings. We are all flawed and will mess up. Being committed to a friend or group of friends will ensure that when things get wonky, you will communicate in love and see the relationship through. May it be said of us…
…your friendship was a miracle-wonder, love far exceeding anything I’ve known – or ever hope it know. 2 Samuel 1:26
One last thought...perhaps God has blessed you with some great sisters, sister-in-laws, cousins, aunts…women who are already part of the fabric of your life that you can get to know even better. I am blessed with some incredible women right in my family. They are there, I just have to be disciplined to make time to dig in with them. It is ALWAYS worth it.