Tuesday, 8 September 2015

friends first

Several weeks ago, one of my close friends invited me to an end of summer party. There were to be games, s'mores, a campfire, and lots of fun! So after work, J and I headed off to the party, cookies in tow. Once we arrived, I enjoyed catching up with some of my high school peers and officially introducing my boyfriend. After a few hours of hanging out, I was reminiscing freshman year with one of my friends when she asked us a question. "Do you have any advice for two people who are interested in dating?" 

The question surprised me, so naturally I laughed and said, "If he offers you gum, take it. And if you get the opportunity to shove whipped cream in his face, do it." (That's how J and I met...don't ask). But J's answer surprised me. He said, "Be friends first."

He is right. So many potentially beautiful friendships are ruined by infatuation, emotion, and a desire to be close to someone. The teenage and young adult years are filled with many changes - emotional changes, life changes, and growth in character. It's the sometimes difficult transformation from a child to adult. Often, what a young person needs in the midst of all this is not a relationship. What they really need is a good friend - not just someone take them to the movies or the mall, but someone who will be there even when it's not easy. Someone who will listen to them and help them. A person whom they trust and who trusts them in return. A like-minded Christian who will hold them accountable and encourage them to grow in their relationship with the Lord.
Ladies, if you surround yourself with godly companions, perhaps one of the young men who have walked with you through the difficult years of change will become your "someone special" - but even if he does not, you will still have a trustworthy close friend. You don't need to date a bunch of young men to find out what kind of guy you like; you don't need to be in multiple relationships to find out how to be a good girlfriend. If you are following the Lord, He will direct you towards someone who also loves Him. If you are a good friend, then you'll already know how to be a good girlfriend.

J and I had been friends for four years when we began our courtship. In our first year together, I learned that we still had a lot of growing up to do. But I honestly think we would not be as strong as we are if we had not been simply friends first. Of course there was an attraction, there had been for a long time. But because we became close friends first and didn't hurry into a relationship, we were able to stand by each other, encourage each other, and learn to trust each other. Yes, maybe there is something to be said for assuring nosy friends and relatives that you and the person you like are "just friends", because perhaps that is how it should begin. 

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts- this post was really encouraging!

  2. This post is awesome! :) I am definitely taking this advice to heart as I think about the people I've been meeting at college. :) <3 I miss you!!!


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