My son hates taking the extra time to lace up his shoes. It’s tedious. It takes extra effort. He says they work just fine unlaced. They’re pretty much on, they pretty much fit, and they pretty much function. The only trouble is when you step on one of those shoelaces and send yourself hurling for the pavement, face first. They are untrustworthy and prone to malfunction.
Sometimes our friendships are like unlaced shoes – they pretty much function, but they’re not tight and reliable. We do the minimum – sending texts and “liking” one another’s posts. Maybe we get a phone call in between crying babies and hurried meals. But this isn’t enough. Our friendships become untrustworthy and prone to dysfunction.
The Bible describes the importance of reliable, close friendships:
In the busyness of life, it’s sometimes easier to just get by with our unlaced relationships. We put off those tedious, finer details like shoelaces. If we want to build relationships that endure, bless, and that stand the test of time, it’s essential to pay attention to the details and put in the extra effort.
I love running! I assure you, one of the most important aspects of long-distance running is making sure you have good, reliable shoes. The laces are by no means a minor detail. In fact, they can be the most important detail. The smallest details are often the most important!
THE FINER DETAILS AREN’T THE MINOR DETAILS
The same goes for our relationships. Pay attention to the fine details. My life as a wife and mother keep me pretty busy. Making time for a girl’s night out or an afternoon mani-pedi with friends can be difficult – and expensive. Those things are nice, and I think they add a great spark to our friendships. But it’s the smaller things that matter more, I think. I’ve come up with four simple ways we can lace up those finer details of our friendships.
- AN OLD FASHIONED HELLO! These days we are too dependent on text messages and social media to keep in touch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to make EVERY effort to stay connected. Sometimes it’s nice to be in the middle of micro-managing kids and multi-tasking life, and just receive a little “hello” text. But it’s just as easy, and extra special to send a “thinking of you” card in the mail. I miss getting snail mail. There’s something special about opening the mailbox and seeing that colorful square envelope with your name on the front. That little extra effort goes a long way! And, she’ll have a pretty card to display on her counter reminding her that you care.
- TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS! If you’re my age (eh hem) you might get that quirky title, but if not, I won’t be too jealous. Here’s a play on another one: Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend! Well, not always. And that’s why God gives us husbands and boyfriends to spoil us. But we girls can make one another feel special, too! If your friend needs a special pick-me-up after a hard week, send her a beautiful bouquet! Trust me, every girl wants to be the recipient of a floral delivery! Flowers can be a very personal gift, too. Whether your bestie loves tulips or carnations, imagine her surprise when she receives a whole bouquet of them! Flowers can be found at any big grocery chain these days, too. So if you can’t find a florist or want to avoid the cost of having flowers delivered, a grocery store is your new friend! You won’t sacrifice much in quality, and your wallet might thank you. Grocery stores offer a wide variety of quality floral arrangements for small and fancy budgets alike. Most stores will even add the fancy cellophane wrap and ribbon at no extra charge. Then you can surprise your friend in person – and give her a great big hug too! Now what friend wouldn’t love that!?
- BE INTERESTED IN HER INTERESTS! Listen to her when you talk and take note of the things that are on her heart. Is there a book she is dying to read, or a CD she would love to have? Is there a new product she read about but can’t find anywhere? Is she wishing she had a babysitter so she and her husband could actually sit and talk over a dinner out? Surprising your friend with a thoughtful gesture or special gift are simple, yet heartfelt ways to make her day. If it’s babysitting, it just might make her year! And trust me, it makes a big impression when our friends know we are paying attention to the smaller details of their lives.
- THE POWER OF PRAYER! Last, but certainly not least, PRAY for your friends! Our friendships need prayer. Friendships aren’t always easy. The story of Job demonstrates the hurt that’s caused when we fail to understand or communicate with our friends. Job was facing one of the most terrible times of his life. In the course of one day, he’d lost nearly all that he had – including all ten of his children. I cannot even fathom! Job’s wife was of no comfort, so imagine his relief when he saw his three friends coming to cheer him up. Only, they did just the opposite. Job’s friends decided that this devastation must be Job’s fault somehow – some penalty for offending God. They didn’t seem to understand their friend at all – and their words certainly didn’t offer the comfort he needed. Job was hurt and bewildered, to say the least. But instead of becoming bitter and resentful, Job did something extraordinary for his friends. He prayed for them! In Job 42:10 it says:
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
God honors our prayers – especially those we make for loved ones during times of adversity. If your friendship is facing hard times, PRAY! Jesus was always praying for his disciples, and we should do the same for our friends. In case you missed it, there is also a Prayer Request page on my site. I would love to know how I can pray for you and your friends!
So come on, Ladies, and let’s lace up our friendships! Make them a priority. Pay attention to the finer details! And let’s build friendships that endure, bless, and stand the test of time!