“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” – George Washington
Today is President’s Day and I love quotes! So, I did some searching of George Washington quotes and this one popped off the page. Facebook (FB) has changed the “face” of friendships for the negative and the positive. It is what I believe would be what George Washington be considered “courteous to all”.
Over time I have added “friends” to my FB and have also ignored many “friend” requests. I have also “hidden” friends posts because they become overwhelming in number (they FB everything), sometimes they have a different life perspective, or they may not keep their posts “clean”. I think I have been a little too courteous and have accepted friend requests that in hindsight I wish I would not have added. For instance * they were “friends” for that time of my life / situation, but situations have changed * negative people that leave comments * people who don’t appreciate free speech and take things personally or go on defense, etc… I have become more cautious in adding co-workers, people in other professional relationships (teachers, physicians, etc…) I have never been into the various games (Farmville, etc..) so have avoided some “friends” that way.
FB has been incredible in allowing me to reconnect with friends. For instance,
- I started on FB several years ago when invited by an “intimate” friend, Lynn. We grew up next door to each other and shared years of incredible memories from childhood, through High School (the Prom), and her military. Over time, we grew apart due to distance and life circumstances, but so thankful to be re-connected.
- A special group of “dance moms” when Mary danced. Over the girls stopped dancing together and the friendships somewhat dissolved. To this day, I still believe I would be able to sit down with any of these fine ladies and likely pick up a conversation – likely about our girls – that brought us all together. Mary and I are still close to one mom/daughter and thanks to FB we have reconnected to the others…
- The friends established through various jobs I have had. We shared many lunches together. Shared in the pregnancies, children, work issues, etc… There are a few I am close to and talk on the phone and thanks to FB reconnected with others…
- I have also been able to reconnect with friends from our previous church, from High School, relatives, friends separated by distance, etc…
But the “intimate” friends are priceless. They are the ones that I don’t have to talk to everyday to maintain the friendship. The ones I can bear my heart and soul and get honest feedback or just a comforting hug. The ones that if we haven’t talked for awhile, we can still pick back up on the conversation where we left off. Washingtonrefers to a friendship as a plant that has to undergo and withstand adversity – my “intimate” friends have survived the tests of life / time. They have my back (and I have their back too).
How can I PREPARE for FRIENDSHIP (Strengthening) or more importantly an “INTIMATE” friendship.
- I won’t expect my “intimate” friend to read my FB status to know what is going on in my life – if it’s important, they deserve the call/text BEFORE the FB post!
- If there is an issue/concern over our friendship it will not be a post on FB.
- I will give them honest and loving feedback when asked for it (or needed).
- 100% acceptance of who they are and support /encourage them in what they want to become
- Know that it’s ok to disagree – just consider it a different/new perspective (Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at ALL times)
- Make and take time – to hear them, to learn about them, and to remember them.
- Do little things that make them know they are loved – don’t wait for the big stuff!
- Remember them in your prayers – praise God for the friendship and prayers for their needs!
Friends of all types are important. I love my FB Friends and my “intimate” friends. Although, with this blog, I feel like I have exposed a little more to the public than I normally would on FB. I also know that only those that want to know more about me will take the moment to read it – just another step / opportunity to deepen a friendship. Mary is learning more and more about friendships – the work it takes, the loyalty and betrayal, etc. I assure her that friendships will change over her life and different things may separate the friendships. For a (almost) teen, it is a hard lesson to learn. As an adult, I look back at my friends over the years – many memories, many blessings.
As I reflect on friends, I realize there are some “intimate” friends that have moved on through my life (by distance and time) that I still have not been able to reconnect with on FB (not because I haven’t looked). Over time, Christmas cards stopped being exchanged (probably because I never got mine mailed out). I miss them in my life and wonder where there lives have led them. Instead of living with constant regret, this is the week I want to PREPARE for FRIENDSHIP (Renewal). I am taking the time to send a note, some pictures, and contact information. They may not reach back and that is okay, but maybe they will reach out too and life will be richer just by knowing they are okay. Maybe they haven’t reached out for the same reason I haven’t previously – life gets busy and though we think of people we don’t take the extra step and reach out. Hopefully others will take on this challenge too…
“Intimate” Bible Friendships Examples
Ruth and Naomi : Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” There is an incredible song by Nicole Nordimen and Amy Grant about Ruth and Naomi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHZZyNGvOVY)
David and Jonathan: 1 Samuel 18:1-3 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.