We might not admit it but we all have friendship goals. I mean, who doesn’t want to have friends, right? Life is hard enough as it is, imagine trying to do it all on your own. We all need friends in our corner.
So what is it that gets in our way of developing meaningful friendships?
To answer this question I have a treat for you.
You might know my friend, Shannon Geurin from her #FiercelyHis community. And if you’re on Pinterest you’ve probably seen her beautifully striking images of women who are fighting for God. Shannon invites women to boldly share their stories of overcoming — and what faith-building stories they are!
Well today, I’m happy to have Shannon as my guest in the #SummerSizzleBlogHop series. She’s talking about friendship goals — the good, the bad and the not so pretty — all to help us get to the heart of the matter and discover what’s holding us back.
The #SummerSizzleBlogHop series features nine inspiring Christian bloggers. We’ve pulled our best Christian faith content from our treasure chests to encourage you this summer. So far, I’ve hosted friends, Lori Schumaker (When You Feel Like Giving Up, Do This Instead) and Valerie Murray (Conquering Fear and Winning the Battle in Your Mind).
Be sure to stop by next week to see who’s in the spotlight.
But for now, it’s Shannon’s turn to shine! And you don’t want to miss this.
Women and friendship go hand in hand don’t they? I mean when we speak about friendship in terms of gender, more than likely it involves females and the two words are synonymous with one another. Annoyingly, Hollywood glamorizes female friendships and makes them look “normal” when actually the way they are portrayed, they are everything but normal.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a friend that has been my “bestie” or BFF since grade school. Nor do I have a friend group of quirky girls with long curly hair, designer bags, and leopard print heels that match. I’m not in a friend group that talks to each other frequently during the day and shows up on each others doorstep unannounced.
Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t think that is normal. I’m not saying that those type of friendships aren’t out there, I’m just saying I don’t think they are as frequent as we think. Sure, the idea is neat. But I think the record needs to be set straight that it’s okay if we don’t have these types of friendships.
I believe that there are different types of friendships that are valuable and serve a purpose.
Surface level friendships are cool because they require zero effort. Usually these types of friendships go no deeper than casual conversations discussing the weather and how the humidity makes our hair frizz. The only value they may have is simply bringing a smile or to produce laughter. Nothing wrong with that.
Then there are temporary friendships. Because “life” happens they come and go. This isn’t particularly a bad thing even though we tend to think that it is. It can take work to develop and maintain a friendship and most won’t or simply can’t do the work necessary. It’s all good.
Sadly, sometimes friendships that were once very close and maybe even deep can turn temporary. Oftentimes trying to maintain a friendship can become wearisome and toxic. This doesn’t reflect poorly on the other person, it just means that you’ve had to make a choice of what your priorities are in your current season of life. No matter how much we think we know, we have absolutely no idea what the other person is going through.
Even if you’re close with someone and may know all their “dirt,” you really have no idea. They may be doing all they can do just to keep their head above water. There are times in our life that our full focus must be on our own family or household. Times when everything we have to give goes completely to them. Knowing that there are friends patiently standing on the sidelines who are silently praying and offering simple words of encouragement without expecting anything in return are rare gifts in friendship.
True friendship is never “look what I have done for you” but instead “what else can I do for you”
In general, women long for deep, close friendships. But most either don’t know how to get there, or they aren’t willing to do what it takes because of fear. Honestly I think we make it harder than it has to be.
I believe that there’s one thing we need in order to grow deeper in our friendships:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:7-8 ESV
When we live in the dark, we tend to hide all of our faults, failures, fears and flaws, but if we live in the light we can bring them into the open and admit who we truly are.
Here’s the thing: If you want to build deep meaningful friendships you’re going to have to let others see your weaknesses. You’re going to have to practice authenticity. This requires both courage and humility. And it requires you to take a risk. So why take the risk?
Being authentic is the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy in your friendships.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 ESV
If you want deep friendships it’s up to YOU. If you want better friendships you’ve got to start with some changes in yourself first rather than expecting everyone around you to change.
If you struggle with being authentic in your friendships do you know why?
Yep, good ol’, ugly fear. We are scared.
- Fear of being exposed. We don’t want others to think that we don’t have it all together.
Not one of us has it all together.
Just because someone appears to have it all together on the outside, that doesn’t mean that everything is together on the inside. We really have no idea what others go through.
- Fear of being rejected. We are afraid that we won’t be pretty enough, smart enough or good enough.
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25 ESV
Whoa. Well there ya go. Where is your trust. Do you trust in Him? If you truly trust in Him, shouldn’t you be able to lose the fear?
- Fear of getting hurt. Here’s the simple truth. When we are scared of getting hurt we are defensive and protective. This causes us to be fake or un-genuine. We then build walls that no one can get through and we end up pushing people away.
But then there’s this:
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
I don’t know about you, but that makes me completely giddy. That’s a promise from God right there my friend! He will give you a new heart! The question is…
Will you accept it?
Authenticity in friendship starts with prayer. It starts by seeking Him with all of your heart. Pray that He would soften your heart and open it up so that you can receive and give authentic friendship.
True and deep authentic friendships help us grow. They cause us to believe and to hope and to dream. They can help us be a better mom and wife.
Be the friend you want to have.
I love this description of a true friend. Try quoting 1 Corinthians 13 and replace “love” with “friend” like below.
A friend is patient and kind.
Friends do not envy, they don’t boast, and they aren’t proud.
Friends do not dishonor each other. They aren’t self-seeking.
Friends are not easily angered and they keep no record of wrong doing.
Friends do not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth.
Friends always protect.
Friends always trust.
Friends always hope.
Friends always persevere.
How about you?
What are your friendship goals?
What’s the number one thing that’s stopped you from achieving them and how did you overcome?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Meet Shannon Geurin
Shannon is fun-loving and authentic. She loves big and fierce, and at the top of that love list is Jesus, her husband John and her two daughters, Alex and Averee. She’s a woman who has been rescued and restored and knows how to fight. Shannon believes every woman has a calling and she has a passion to see women everywhere rise up into who God has designed them to be. Although a book is in her future, you can currently read her blog and her story at www.shannongeurin.com
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