Being a true friend is hard. Finding a true friend is even harder.
For me the the flow of deep friendships has slowed to a trickle as I’ve put on the different hats of life: spouse, parent, pastor. I’m not saying it’s impossible, it just takes an exponential amount of effort compared to the fertile friendship fields of college.
If you’re anything like me there is an innate desire for deep friendship. As a man, this shows up in my desire for true camaraderie with other men in my life. My wife absolutely carries a unique role in my life as wife and best friend, for that I’m eternally grateful, but I know there’s something special that can be found in a brotherhood.
Here are 4 pillars I’m putting up in my life to cultivate deep friendships:
1. Praying: “You have not because you ask not.” For years I never even thought to pray for deep friendships in my life. I’ve turned that around and am praying for this daily. I know I’ll be a better a better husband, dad and pastor with other strong men challenging and building me up.
2. Making time: We make time for what’s important to us. I’ve committed to making this a priority in my life even when it seems to bump up against my already hectic schedule. You have to make time for what you value.
3. Getting in the room: Wishing doesn’t change anything. I’ve got to be actively, consistently putting myself in the kind of environments where friendships can grow: in a church small group, grabbing lunch, dinner or coffee with a brother. Sure it would be easier to stay home, but do I want what I’ve always had?
4. Getting Real: In Texas we have a saying: “Just because you put your boots in the oven, don’t mean their biscuits.” Just because you’re in proximity with other guys, doesn’t mean you’re emotionally close. Deep friendships come from deep vulnerability. There’s no way to get there without emotional risk. Take a deep breath and take the plunge.
I’m incredibly grateful for the great guys around me in this season of life. I’m trusting God to lead us in to deeper waters together as we lock arms and walk this great adventure out.
What about you? What’s been your experience in developing deep friendships? What would you add?