broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Best Friends part four

Dear friends,

If you have been following this short series of blogs about friendships, you know that I’ve been encouraging you to get out there and make some friends, and maybe out of the process you might find a really good friend, or maybe even a best friend.

But today, I want to focus our attention on the most important way to help develop a friendship that you already have. Maybe this is a ‘new’ friend, like someone you’ve just recently met and the chemistry is right. Or maybe you have a friend that you care dearly for but you haven’t had much time to devote to that relationship. Or possibly you have a friend that is just plain special to you and you want that friendship to flourish even better.

Well, in these cases as well as others there is a one sure way to improve your friendships. It’s found in today’s edition…

Observation #3: Friends spend time developing and sustaining their relationship

Friendships don’t just happen, they are made.

Let’s just be very practical for a moment – we've been talking about friendships, but this is good advice for marriages, family relationships, neighborhoods, church relationships: The bottom line is this – if we are going to have good relationships of any kind they are going to require that we take the time to make them good.

Husbands and wives - it means you are going to have spend time together, growing this thing called love. No, I don’t mean just watching TV in the same room or going to a movie where you sit quietly in the dark and watch someone else’s life, but spending uninterrupted time actually communicating.

Parents, it means you are going to have to take the time to be with your kids, doing things together, learning their likes and dislikes, and sharing their lives. The TV commercials that say that involved parents are the best anti-drug are telling the truth. Actually, in their hearts kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Neighbors, it’s going to take more than a “Howdy” over the fence once a week. If you want to turn an acquaintance into a friend, it’s going to require a time component.

It is this simple: Time is the master key to relationships. If you want a better relationship with your kids, your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, your church family, with anyone – spend time together. Developing the relationship requires time, and nothing else will be an adequate substitute..

And, as a Christian, if I might add one more simple truth as well – if we are going to have any kind of relationship with our heavenly Father it means we are going to have to spend some time with him as well. We need to read the Bible because that is God talking to us. We need to spend some time thinking about what we read so that we understand what it is that God is saying to us personally. Then we need to pray; that sacred conversation between a person and their God.

Relationships are built on time spent together – David and Jonathan knew that, and we do too.

"But Dwight, I don't have that kind of time!" If that is you talking then I have only one thing to say - you are too busy! If your schedule doesn't include time for developing friendships then you need to adjust your schedule. when it is all over for us - and that time comes for everyone - we won't look back and say "Oh I wish I would have closed that deal" or "Aw shucks, I didn't make it all the way to a million dollars", or even "Boy, I wish I'd have spent more time at the office". No, when we face the end of days on this planet the only thing that will matter is "who do I love, and who loves me".

Yes, my friends, this is THAT important! Do whatever it takes to develop a really good friendship with someone you will learn to love if you don't already. Talk face to face, write an old fashioned letter, make a phone call and plan to spend more than two minutes talking about the weather, spend some time composing a REAL email, not just a forward, and actually say something of value.

And please, don’t just plan on spending time with a friend, MAKE the time to do it – and you’ll be glad you did! Maybe right NOW would be a good time to start...

Until we meet again,


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