A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV
I started using Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with people that I do not get to see regularly, but I never could have imagined where it would lead. I have made new friends. I have met a few of these friends in real life, but others, I have not.
These friendships have been wonderful and a great source of encouragement for me. It does not matter how I met these gals, there is one thing these friendships have in common~~ they take work. Here are some ways to making strong friendships:
- Make time. I am so grateful that my busy friends make the time for me. It can be a quick message through social media or sitting down for coffee. It does not have to be a lot of time, but it is worth it. Taking the time to nurture a relationship shows you care and that the person matters. If you say you are going to check your schedule to see if you are available then get back with you–THEN DO IT! Be intentional.
- Be a good listener. I am learning to talk less and listen more. I am still a work in progress. The verse in Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” ESV is true. I have learned that I don’t have to have answers. Sometimes your friends just need to get things off your chest and need a listening ear.
- Pray for them. You can send a prayer through private message if you can’t be in the same room with them. I can’t tell you how many prayer requests have been prayed over by people I have never met in real life. I have FELT THOSE PRAYERS! I have felt James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” It is easy to say you will pray for someone, but do not just say you will pray~~actually pray for them.
- Be real. Don’t expect people to open up to you if you do not do the same. I am not saying put every detail of your life for all of the online world to see, but be willing to be honest.
- Be a safe place to confide in. Be mindful of privacy. It may seem weird to say this since a lot of people write about their lives. However, just because someone tells you something (in real-life or online) does not mean you have to share it for the world to read.
- Be an encouragement to each other. Send a positive text, send a message through social media, make a phone call, or write a letter. You can ask them how their day was or just say hello. These small acts can have a HUGE impact on someone’s day.
- Help each other in time of need. This can be comforting them when they are down, lend a hand if they are moving, or baby-sitting so she can go out on a date with her husband.
- Do a Bible Study or devotional together. Maybe lead it yourself. I have met most of my close gal pals in Bible Study. There seems to be a lot of support groups, but not for wives. (At least I am not aware of many). Marriage is hard~~ so I think wives should help each other out. I caution you to not husband bash. This, to me, can equate with gossip. Check out Wife After God by Unveiled Wife for a devotional for wives.
I have to admit that I still feel weird with having friends that I have never met. Maybe because I crave real life connections. I like to see faces, hear voices, and if need be, hold your hand or hug you when offering a shoulder to cry on. I think you also have to be careful with having online friends. It is easy to be comfortable behind the computer and not put yourself out there in real life. There is risk of getting hurt with friendships, but worth it.
What about you? What are ways you keep strong friendships with the busyness of life?