Today is one of those Fridays that make me want to do a little dance. Maybe a jig! The sun is shining (and started doing so before 6 AM), the man is already out the door for work (you go Z!), and the man child is tucked into his couch with Thomas in hand while he watches Thomas. And I’m sitting here – pretending that I’m chatting with you instead of typing words on a screen. It’s a jig worthy Friday, my friends!
Girlfriending! What a fun, deep and wide topic. Last week, I started a series on Girlfriending because I love this topic and all of God that we can find within it! Here’s a link to part one if you are interested. It’s one of those things that we rarely ever think about in terms of how much there is to learn. We all just assume that we all know what we’re doing! But I think that girlfriending in a healthy and life-giving way is much more of a learned skill than we give it credit for.
At the end of the day, girlfriending is about girls. And Lord only knows, we all hope and pray we get better with age, but sometimes our humanity gets the very best of us – still. Shoot!
So today, I thought I’d explore the foundation of healthy girlfriending. Because the truth is – we don’t become great girlfriends after we have been given great girlfriends. Certainly – we continue learning through each and every relationship. But it all starts way before any one particularly great friend comes into your life and changes your perspective forever. It starts with me. It starts with you! It starts with you, me and God – just us.
So maybe you have a corral full of treasured girlfriends. Maybe you have three. Maybe you’re really wondering what is wrong and why this part of your life seems to struggle. Regardless of your circumstance, I think it’s healthy for all of us to go back to the very beginning and take a look in the mirror. These are a few of the things I have discovered to be key to my ability to be a life-giving girlfriend in the first place.
1. My perspective of God. He is the one who knows me better than anyone else possibly could. He knows me better than I know myself. He loves me more than any other human is capable of loving. Girlfriends are His idea and His creation, but the truth is that He is enough. He can be enough! The more I delve into this relationship, the more healthy I am in other relationships. And conversely, the less I delve into relationship with Him, the needier I am and wonkier I am in girlfriend relationships. There is a deep need we were born with that He and only He can fill. If I don’t allow Him to intimately, genuinely and lovingly deal with me at my core, I will constantly be left feeling that something is missing in my girlfriend relationships. She was never meant to meet that need. She never will. And she’ll get very tired if she’s being asked to meet needs that she has no possible way of meeting.
If my identity isn’t dealt with in Him, then I will be looking to her to fulfill a part of my identity. And that gets weird fast sister.
2. My perspective of myself.. Speaking of identity…Being in healthy girlfriend relationships brings up just as many issues about ourselves that need to be dealt with as it does about anyone else! The truth is, and for real this is true, if you are in relationship with anyone for long enough there is going to be conflict. Take it to the bank sister. Before healthy relationships can be built, a certain level of honesty mixed with confidence has to be established. Honesty: I’m not perfect. I’ve got just as many quirks as anyone else. I have weaknesses that surface within relationship. I NEED the Lord to keep working on me and showing me how to grow. Confidence: I bring a lot to the table! I like me and I don’t need to be like someone else to be worthy of friendship. God has put a unique portion of Himself in me that will come out in healthy friendships. I am ready to be a giver and to also receive. I am rooted in the Lord and open to who He wants to bring into my life! Bring it!
3. My perspective of others. My parents are and were great parents. One of the biggie topics we talked about as kids was the preciousness of others. That each person was created with a God-given preciousness because he or she was created by God. And if I really believed that, it affects how I treat people. It started with how I treated my parents and my brother, but it related to how I treated everyone. If I really believe that each person is a unique and precious creation of God, well then, it’s a game changer. If she’s valuable because of who her Creator is, that means that it really doesn’t matter if our personalities mesh. I am not proposing that this theory be used to say that every single person is to be our best friend, never to be confronted, or always to be pursued. But if we are really wanting to get this girlfriending thing down in a way that honors the Lord, we need to grow up to the point that we can treat each person as if they exist and they matter – regardless of how close we are or are not to them. Being a good girlfriend is just as much about how much we treat the people in the periphery of our lives as it as about how we treat our nearest and dearest.
Ohhhh friends this feels like we’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully this series will end up being 3-5 posts total…someone stop me before it becomes a way too long saga! But for now, I am so thankful for the words that are coming as I type about this topic. I am passionate about it because getting the girlfriending thing down will never look like perfection but we have so much to gain from growing in this area. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, fifteen, fifty or ninety-five….girlfriending is worth growing for. At the end of the day, it’s a huge way that God reaches out to us and that He reaches out through us. And that’s important.
Lots of love and happy weekending!