I remember thinking that as my kids got older I’d have more spare time on my hands. But instead of life slowing down, it seems as if it’s gotten busier. Are you in that boat with me?
And the busier life gets, I find myself with less time for nurturing my friendships.
I now have two adult-aged children, one of whom is married, and instead of my schedule freeing up, I give my daughters extra hours and attention — which is a wonderful experience for us both. My growing family is the priority now (rightly so), but I’ve also felt convicted by God to be a better friend.
Making Sure Friendships Don’t Collect Dust
Like I mentioned in the introduction to this series, I’m an introvert. It’s so much easier for me to stay at home in my comfort zone, devoting myself to family — the people I see everyday— which is a blessing in so many ways! But I also know that God has called me to reach out and be a friend.
Friendships are a good, God-given gift. The Bible gives many examples of friendships to encourage and inspire us: David and Jonathan; Ruth and Naomi; Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; and even Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
God created us to be grown and sharpened by our companions (Proverbs 27:17) and to show His love and care to our friends in need (Galatians 6:2, and John 13:35). After all, we were designed to be part of a community— the very Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:24-27).
Even the most independent of us needs companions we can count on and who can count on us.
Several years ago I had a serious foot injury. It was too painful to even hobble on crutches at first. I spent days on the couch, frustrated by all that needed to be done and my inability to do it.
A few days later, I was blessed immensely when a friend called and asked, “Can I come visit and pray for you?”
She reminded me that it’s important to take the initiative to be a better friend.
So how is this supposed to work? How can we be a good friend when our schedules are so full? How can we begin the process of reaching outside our comfort zones?
5 Tips for Taking the Initiative to Nurturing Friendships
- Phone calls – A quick call to say, “I’m thinking of you” can really brighten someone’s day and foster connection.
- Texts and social media – Simply tagging a friend on social media, commenting on their posts, or reaching out to them over direct messaging can showing love and concern.
- Cards in the snail mail – A “thinking of you” card or note is a nice way to reach out. Include a quick update of what’s going on in your life, as well.
- Invitations/visits/dates – Nothing fosters friendship better than time. So, when time allows, ask your friend to have a coffee date, invite them over for a chat, or visit them if they’d like.
- Prayer, but let them know – Praying for our friends is an enormous gift. But don’t stop there, send them a message or give them a call to let them know they’re on your heart.
Being a busy woman doesn’t mean we need to shelve our friendships. It only means we need to approach things differently and get a bit creative.
What creative ways have you found to take initiative to be a better friend? Share in the comments, on our Facebook page, or in our new Facebook community group.