“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
― Linda Grayson
Photo Credit: (Flickr) Creative Commons
As I prayed about what to write for today’s blog post, I tried to reflect on what has been a theme lately; what seems to be running through the fabric of my day to day survival?
The answer came as a surprise, but a delightful one. Friendship.
I pause now to offer gratitude and thanks for the intricate weave of friends that cross in and out of my life on a consistent basis. What makes these friends, my friends? What benefit have they been in my life? How have they lasted for so long?
For one, my faithful friends are all so different, but I need their variety. It was in considering this that I determined– 5 Kinds of Friends Every Woman Needs:
The Motivating Friend
She gets you off your butt. She helps maximize your potential. She encourages you to dig deeper, go higher, stay consistent, and reminds you of your goals. Her natural role is one of coach.
The Wise Friend
She’s the one you call when you have a big decision to make. She offers biblical counsel, and thought provoking questions to guide your thinking. She listens intentionally, actively, and is able to discern what you’re saying behind your words. She knows you well, but she knows God even more and her counsel is seasoned with His guidance, found in scripture.
The Traveling Friend
She’s the one you’d choose to tromp through Europe with–if you had such a lovely chance 😉 Usually a weekend is all you get, but your friendship is beyond a coffee date. You’ve seen each other first thing in the morning, and maybe you’ve had to share a bed. She’s drama-free, laughs with you until you cry, and has an adventurous outlook on life.
The Challenging Friend
She won’t put up with you when you’re off track. She loves you enough to point out your blind spots and assist you in changing directions, if need be. You don’t always like what she has to say initially, but you appreciate her honesty and bravery at the end of the day. Like the Motivating Friend, you are a better version of yourself because of her influence.
The Lunch Friend
She’s a potpourri friend–a little mixture of everything. Some lunches are fun and free, just enjoying one another. Some lunches are spent on vacation together, while others are full of needed wisdom. You always leave feeling challenged and motivated. She’s the ideal friend, all wrapped up in one.
The Best Friend
In my case, this she is a he. He is your intimate friend. Your go to bed with every night friend. He is certainly all of the above, but so much more than the lunch friend. He’s part of you and you are part of him. You are one.
Can you have a best friend outside of marriage? Of course, but you don’t sleep with her. You are not one.
Should you cultivate deep friendships outside of your marriage? Absolutely, because best friends are so tight that they also fight. They get on each others nerves. Sometimes they forget to just be a traveling friend and to offer some slack on being a challenging friend.
Bottom line, we need all of it. We need variety.
We also need to be these friends for our friends.
Wednesday’s Action Assignment:
What type of friend are you? This is where all of us must begin. A.A. Milne, author and creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, offers this advise, “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Before anything else, be the friend for your friends. After that, you may be surprised to find yourself with too many friends to keep track of, which leads to my other assignment…
Who are these 5 friends in your life? If you don’t have them, start being that friend and natural friendships will fall into place. If you do have them, identify who they are and cultivate those relationships. I recently read that we really can’t manage more than 12 very close relationships. If you are also a wife, mother, daughter, and sister, this doesn’t leave a lot of space for boatloads of friendships. Sure, we can have many, many friends, but don’t be unrealistic in the time you have to cultivate those friendships.
Tip: My team falls into so many of the above categories and I am thrilled that we have the chance to meet today. As a group, our friendships exist individually, but we have also morphed into a single unit of friendship. Might you have such a group in you co-workers, neighbors, or a small group? One way to cultivate a multitude of relationships is to connect as a group.
Here’s an interesting statistic that also adds to this thought. Did you know, studies reveal that when fewer than 15% of women in a business/company were in positions of power, the women acted competitively toward one another? But when women represented more than 15% of the powerful positions, they collaborate? When you create a group that works toward a common goal, with team playing priorities, there is an incredible sense of comrade. So make your group about something outside of yourself. Work toward a common goal and help each other through the process. This can be the most rewarding kind of friendship known to mankind.