By: Amanda Frittz
It’s beyond easy to get stuck in only having surface level friendships nowadays. Social media makes it easy to keep the illusion of having meaningful friendships. You can be relatively caught up with your friend’s lives without even taking the time to say hi.
I’ve been guilty of relying on social media to give me my social “fill” in the past. At times when I’ve been curious about how an old friend is doing, I’ll check their FB or Instagram instead of reaching out to them. I want to feel close to them, but I don’t always want to invest my time.
However, if you want meaningful friendships you have to be willing to put in the time. Doesn’t matter if it’s with your husband, God, or friends the key to a strong relationship is the time that’s invested
But what does that look like? Growing up in Generation Z I hadn’t experienced relationships without electronics and social media. I never had true organic relationships modeled to me. In fact, up until this past year I had been deprived of true meaningful friendships.
I had friends, but I only maintained surface level friendships with them. I didn’t actually live life with them. We didn’t know each other’s deepest struggles and we didn’t take time to serve each other.
I Was Starving for REAL Meaningful Friendships
We are designed to desire community. Yet, we often don’t even know what true community looks like. What separates surface level friendships from meaningful friendships?
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Meaningful Friendships Require Consistency
How often are you making time for your relationships? Consistency is the glue that keeps you close to the people around you or even those who are afar.
Try to schedule a time to reach out to friends throughout the week. This can be in person, or even a text or phone call checking in on them. Personally, I try to remember my friends travel plans, doctor appointments, and other major events so I can check in with them throughout the week.
Are you available and willing to help? If you’re in relationships with people long enough, you are bound to walk out trials with them. Obviously you can’t alway be available, but are you available and willing to help the majority of the time?
Some good ideas of being there for friends when they are walking through trials are to bring them dinner, watch their kids, or help with chores and errands. Of course, sometimes just a shoulder to cry on and continual prayers go the extra mile.
Are you willing to show humility? God calls us to bring our sins into the light. You can’t develop an intimate relationship if you aren’t willing to expose both the good and bad parts of your life.
Ephesians 5:13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible
I’m not saying tell everyone everything you go through and struggle with. However, you should have a safe community that you can expose your current struggles to and know that you’ll receive support.
Take into consideration this doesn’t mean you are called to gossip. So, if your struggle is between another brother or sister look to your husband and the Bible for guidance on how to handle the situation appropriately.
Give and expect nothing else in return. To give only with expectations of receiving something in return is not true love. To have meaningful friendships you have to be willing to give and expect nothing in return.