Longing for friendship and connection starts early in life.
Every girl knows there is no age limit on the value of a good friend.
My daughter toddles out to the pool with her babydoll stroller, clomping in her grandma’s pretty shoes. She loves the clackity-clack of hard soles on hot cement. Grandma follows close behind to make sure this little one stays away from the edge of the pool.
Cute as a bluebird, she perches on side of the pool in her ruffled bathing suit. I love hearing my girlie chat with anyone who will stop and visit. She chirps, “Hi. What’s your name?” And off she goes into a fascinating, friend-making conversation. By the end of the afternoon, she has met many of the adults and most of the children at the pool. With her three-year-old wisdom, no one needs to tell her this truth: there is something special about friendship.
Do you have the gift of girlfriend?
This may seem like an odd question. My friends, Larissa and Jenny both have a friendship gift that comes naturally, but they also work hard at building relationships. Building community and making friends is an intrinsic part of who they are. They have that special gift of girlfriend.
For many, friendship doesn’t come easily. Initiating relationships feels uncomfortable and risky. And though friendship can be the source of great joy, betrayal or rejection from a friend can break your heart. Remember those awkward middle school years of fluctuating friendships and alliances that could shift with the wind? Best friends could become worst enemies and the in-crowd could be cruel to many. Friendship was often a competition during those insecure days of adolescence–who has the most friends, the coolest buddies, the prettiest pals, the funniest girlfriends?
Isn’t it time to release that sneaky temptation to compare ourselves with others? Some people have loads of friends, others only a few. Some make friends easily, others struggle. The most important thing is to focus on being a great friend to the ones God has given you.
I love these words from Elizabeth of Just Following Jesus:
Maturity realizes that there’s only one me and there’s only one you, and though my friend may have five other friends, there’s only one me in her life. Relationships shouldn’t be a competition. Being true to being who you are makes you irreplaceable. Trying to be like others in order to be liked and accepted makes you just another face in the crowd.
Don’t expect any one friend to be all things friend to you. Let each friendship naturally evolve and take its own path. When we trust God with our friendships, we can be okay with the fact that every friendship may not grow the way we would like. Some friendships grow close quickly, others slowly develop over time. Some never get past , “Hi, how are you?”
The best way to develop the gift of girlfriend is to learn to treat others well. God’s wisdom shows us many ways to build relationships.
14 Tips for being the Friend You Want to Have.
Romans 12:9-19 offers wisdom that can be a great guide for friendships. The following list is straight out of The Message.
- Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
- Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
- Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
- Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.
- Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
- Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
- Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
- Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
- Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.
- Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.
- Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
- Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
- If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
- Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Take a moment to ask God to show you one thing to work on in your relationships. Will you trust Him to help you grow in this area?
What has God put on your heart today?