Intentional Friendship

Do your friends inconvenience you?

[Guest Post by Julianna] – Friendship is the mother of all relationships; ironically.

Without friendship, the human race cannot thrive. We could survive, sure, but we wouldn’t be living at our full capacity. We wouldn’t be tapping into who we really are: Created beings in the image of a relational God.

Now with that, let me say I am a bad friend.

Or at least that’s what my sweet husband tried to tell me. We were watching a video series on marriage and that evening’s topic was on friendship. The pastor said that friendship is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Different types of friendships will go to different levels of intimacy, nonetheless, friendship is the required baseline.

At the end of the video, he told us to ask one another how they think we are doing on the friendship scale. When I asked Ty, he replied,

“You’re a good friend babe…when you want to be.”

Of course he was super gentle and compassionate in his response, so much so that I did not feel offended (for long). But he was right. Ty’s words to me that day were both timely and enlightening. I never realized I was that way with my friends, but as I started to evaluate the relationships I had and the friendships in my life that had fizzled, I saw a pattern of declining priority among them.

I realized I am what I like to categorize as a “convenience friend.”

When the stars align and my schedule clears up, then we can try to get coffee. It’s not for lack of desire necessarily, but rather ignorant precedence on my part. I love my friends, probably more than they know, but I wasn’t being intentional about showing them their value in my life.

That night I tossed and turned until 4AM, mulling over the many friendships I’ve probably lost due to my unintentional way of being a friend; or convenience friendship. I felt dichotomized because on one hand I felt so much sorrow for the past, and on the other hand I felt motivated to start showing my friends just how much they mean to me.

I was reminded while reading Colossians 3, that friendship doesn’t just consistent of the DON’T’s (don’t gossip, don’t backstab, don’t hate, don’t hurt, etc), but more so of the DO’s (love, humility, patience, kindness, compassion, etc).

Friendship isn’t passive and convenient. Intentional friendship is proactive and sought out because it is necessary! We were never meant to be independent and self-sufficient. You need them to get through this life and they need you.

So this is my challenge to you (and to me!)

This week, write a card, an email, or a text to a friend you have been “convenient” with. First, ask for their forgiveness for not being the friend they needed. Then tell them how much you appreciate them and be specific. They will love it!

“Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:7-9).

Julianna is a 20-something girl who spends her time either writing, singing, or talking. If you could sum her up in one sentence it would be, a visionary idealist who wishes to conquer the world before her 25th birthday. She is married to her very own music man and their love story is a mix between soap opera and fairytale. She documents nearly everything and hopes to someday make a mark on this world. She is the writer behind the blog, The Girl That Sings. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

9 comments on “Intentional Friendship”

  1. Dawn Wilson says:

    Thanks for this post, Renee. I often speak on friendship ~ the fact that we need many kinds of friends ~  and I close with that very thought, that we need to be more intentional in cultivating our friendships.

    That life message came out of my realization that I depended on my friends to be my friends in times of need, but that I really didn’t know how to reach out and be their friends in ways that would be meaningful to THEM! I am still in the learning process, and want to be a better friend. You’ve been a good friend to me in the past… I know that many times you tried to reach out to help me in writing contacts, but I didn’t know how to respond at the time. You have a good heart.

    How can I pray for or bless you, Renee? Drop me an email when you have time. <3

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       Dawn, thanks so much for this. Yes, we all need to learn how to be more intentional in our friendships. As you mentioned, the hardest part for me to learn is how to be there for THEM how they need it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post and great challenge!

  3. Rachelle Rea says:

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Love, love, love.

  4. Brooke says:

    Oh wow…how timely this post is.  You know, the more I think about it, I’ve been a convenience friend too.  If the schedule is open, awesome.  If I have to get a bit more creative, or it takes me out of my comfort zone, then forget it.  And then I complain to my man about not having any friends.  =)  So, its a cycle.  Thanks for the challenge.  I have a friend who is pursuing me, just wanting my time….and I am not being receptive.  I make all these excuses, etc.  I agree with Dawn..I’m really good at the having friends part to help me through MY rough time, but what about them???  Thanks for this post…I have so many things I need to go to my journal about….to pray about and mull over…..

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       That’s awesome Brooke. So glad you were encouraged by Julianna’s post 🙂

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