Friendship is a gift. There's just something so good about a person that "get's you," that you can ugly cry in front of, that knows your favorite color even if you don't, and who chooses to indulge in DQ Blizzards with you even when you were supposed to go to the gym. After all, Proverbs says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (or in my case, sticks closer than calories in pizza - I love pizza).
While friendship seems to remain important and highly desired, the way we make friends tends to change as we move into adulthood. Your time gets consumed by work, distance cramps your style, you move to a new town, and then add a husband or some kids to top it off, and how the heck do you keep making friends?!
I get a lot of women who mention how difficult it is to make friends in a new place. I get it. After I married my husband we moved to a new city, started attending a new church, and basically started from ground zero with friends. But even after getting "plugged into" a church, these women say they still have trouble connecting with people.
Because friendship with other women is important, I really wanted to share truth to help us continue to pursue friendship even when the ground seems fallow.
First, let's look at what a friend is, and then let's get into the nitty gritty to help you make some new friends.
The Biblical View of FRIEND
(What's the Bible say about Friends?)
- Friends Love and Help Each Other - "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
- Friends Speak Truth and Life to each other - "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy." Proverbs 27:6
- Friends Sacrifice for each other - "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
- Friends Communicate Value to Each Other - "Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name." 3 John 1:15
- (There is so much more to friendship - look up "one another" on biblegateway.org to learn more about friendship.)
How To Make New Friends
(Hard, but practical truths to get you back into DQ with a new bestie.)
1. Get Plugged Into Your Church - no seriously. I don't mean "plugged in." Many people use the term "plugged in" to mean they attend regularly and maybe participate in activities here and there. Being plugged in actually means contributing, serving, using the gifts God has given you to serve the body of Christ in the church. Start volunteering at your church and you'll meet a crew of others who are like hearted.
2. Learn How To Ask Good Questions - The art of good questions asking is seriously taking a nose dive. Good questions lead to meaningful conversations, which translates into friendships. But often we don't know how to ask beyond the basic questions: "how are you?" and "how was your week?" Everyone has a story to tell; everyone has things they like; everyone likes to talk about themselves. Learn how to be curious about someone and ask good questions (check out the How To Ask Good Questions Series - coming soon).
3. Greet People at Your Church - For real. Greet people when they walk in (and out) the church doors. Strike up a conversation, not just a "welcome!" (see #2 again). The more people you greet and get to know, you'll begin to meet people you connect with - women who have similar interests, or are in similar seasons, or who you just think are fun!
4. Practice Hospitality - That means have people over to your house and feed them. Opening up your home to someone is a form of opening up your heart. You are extending an invitation to them that shows their value and your desire to get to know them. Don't be consumed with perfection (spotless house, homemade everything, matching dishes), but be willing to extend love even in your weakness. (And when their over, practice #2.)
5. Fight for Friendship - As silly as it sounds, sometimes we just need to pursue the heck out of people and not give up. Keep loving, keep helping, keep inviting. Let go of any lies you may be believing about friends - that they have to be in the same season of life as you, that you can't be friends with someone you disciple, that you can't be friends with someone who is older or younger.
Do you have tips on making friends? Share in the comments below!