Friendships are important to build, cultivate, and develop.
I used to be surprised when I’d read or see something that indicated men have a hard time making friends. I thought about my life and about the different men that I’d consider a friend.
But then a statement would be made something along the lines of, “You know who your real friends are based on who you would call at 2am if you had a problem.”
When I thought about that statement, I realized that I didn’t really have any friends that would fit my category. Nor did I believe I was a friend that would be called at 2am.
I’ve spent twenty years working as a pastor. Pastors have a notoriously difficult time making friends in the congregations they serve. To make a friend, you have to be able to let your guard down and be yourself–and pastors can’t generally do that with congregants.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to prioritize making friends. When my son was in Scouts, a couple other den fathers and I became good friends. After we moved, I met a couple of men in the city that I’ve begun to develop close relationships with.
Friendships are important. If we examine our friendships, we can see that they have helped us become better people.
Friendships challenge us to grow.
Selfish people rarely have many, if any, friends. They may have many acquaintances, but if they are constantly taking from relationships and not giving back, the acquaintanceships will not develop into friendships.
When you intentionally build a friendship, you are challenged to let go of selfishness and having to have your way in everything. You are challenged to find balance–and this benefits your overall life as well.
Friendships get us out of the house and among other people.
Life can seem to be one never-ending cycle of waking up, going to work, coming home, going to bed, and waking up all over again. Weeks can go by before we realize that we need to come up for air!
Friendships help to break the monotony of overworking. When we meet up with friends, we change the pace of our lives to make space and time to spend with them. This is a good thing.
Friendships help us learn how to serve others.
Developing friendships isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s work! Part of this work is learning how to put the needs and interests of others ahead of your own.
Being a good friend requires us, at times, to turn the tv off so we can talk to a friend on the phone, to leave a chore undone at the house in order to meet a friend for coffee, or give up a Saturday to help a friend paint their house.
True friendships are relationships where the partners involved give to one another. There is always a healthy give-and-take at the center of a good friendship.