Thursday

How to Grow a Friendship -- A Tutorial


I remember the first time my friend Maryann called me. We had met earlier that month in the church nursery, and I assumed she was calling about a church-related matter. She asked me how my day was going, whether my daughter was over the sniffles, and if I was enjoying the new series of messages our pastor was preaching. We laughed over the challenges of parenting toddlers and shared potty training woes. 
  
I enjoyed our talk, but I kept waiting for her to get to the point. 

“It’s been fun talking with you,” she finally said. And then she said goodbye. 

I hung up the phone puzzled—like when I was a kid walking through a dark house expecting my sister to jump out from behind the door and yell Boo, but she never did. 

It took me ten minutes to figure out that the only reason Maryann had called was to talk. Like friends do. For no reason except that they enjoy each other’s company. No agenda. No task to check off, just because they like you. 

It was awkward and amazing. 

A week later, Maryann called me again. This time I was ready. 

I asked about her daughter, and if she was still wearing the twirly purple dress she’d taken a fancy to. I asked where her husband worked and discovered he was attending school to get his masters degree in education. And when the conversation began to wind down, I thanked her for calling—sincerely, because I realized how much I’d enjoyed our talk. 

Over the 24 years since that first phone call, my friendship with Maryann has grown and matured. We’ve shared the joys of parenting, marriage, church, and homeschooling. We’ve camped together, schooled together, and served together. Our conversations have gone from one end of the library shelf to the other—what’s the best curriculum, pediatrician, or marriage book? How do we keep our tempers, study the Bible, and put a good meal on the table? 

We’ve also shared deep times of sorrow. We’ve walked the nightmare of grief and loss. We’ve prayed each other through dry times in our marriages, desperate times in our parenting, and dark nights of our souls. 

Now that our children are mostly grown, we find ourselves talking about the needs of aging parents, how to be great mothers-in-law, and, still, what’s the best marriage book. We visit without the constant interruption of little ones and laugh about our common desire never to be frumpy, grumpy, or lumpy. 

Some people handle relationships intutively and others, like me, have to learn by example. 

Maryann’s been that example. She’s taught me that friends initiate. Friends serve. Friends are willing to be inconvenienced for each other. She’s taught me there’s always time for a cup of tea when a friend needs to talk, and you can always find a meal or a dollar for someone less fortunate than yourself. She’s taught me to obey God even when it costs me something, follow my husband, and never stop praying for loved ones to come to Christ. 

I hope you have at least one special friend in your life like my friend Maryann. If you don’t, why not take the first step? Pick up the phone and call someone. If they respond, call them again. You never know what this simple act might accomplish. 

Here are five simple suggestions for building godly friendships: 

http://lori-benotweary.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-to-grow-friendship-tutorial.html


I pray God will bless your efforts and grant you the joy of deep, abiding friendship. 

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel (Pro. 27:9). 

What about you? What tips do you have for building life-long friendships? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and bless us all. 

Here are dear friends Noelle, Charlotte, Maryann, daughter Kristen, me, Mandy, and Susie -- God's good gifts to me!





What a joy it was to train 47 mighty prayer warriors at the 
Praying with Power Women's Conference last Saturday
Hosted by Good Shepherd UM Parish in Brookville, PA




We heard powerful prayer testimonies about lost loved ones coming to know Christ, dying grace, and, my personal favorite, one family's story of how God granted them a baby after many years of waiting.



We laughed, we cried, and we learned together 
how to pray God-sized prayers that He delights to answer.




We learned from God's Word, heroes of the faith, and each other. Each woman went home with her own personalized prayer journal.

I can't wait to see what God is going to do through prayer in Pennsylvania.


If you'd like to host a Praying with Power women's ministry event, Click here for my speaking information.


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4 comments:

  1. Friendship is an awesome gift! Thanks for sharing your special relationship with your best friend and tips for keeping friendships strong.

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    1. Linda, may you, too, be blessed with wonderful relationships with dear sisters in the Lord. It truly is a gift.

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  2. Lori, thanks for sharing. I've always had trouble just talking. I'm always waiting for the point since here in the south we always start the conversation with the friendly introduction. So good to know it's okay just to call to spend a few minutes talking.

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    Replies
    1. Your comment made me smile, Gail. Maybe it's my Yankee roots that cause me to want to slide past small talk and just "get 'er done." Or maybe it's my task-oriented first born bent. Either way, it's OK just to visit sometimes. Thanks for chiming in. Blessings to you!

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