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Boundaries in friendships

Wow, my first blog post for Every Season Counts! 

When I was considering what I could write about, I was thinking about things currently in my life that I have been dealing with or that I could try to speak into.

I feel like a pretty consistent theme in my life seems to be how I do friendships with guys well. How can I honour, love and respect my friends in the best way I know how or can I learn to do it better?

Growing up I have always had guy friends and I think it is so important and healthy to have friends of the opposite sex but it does take a bit of a journey to learn how to do it well (I am definately still on this journey). 

It can feel unnatural or weird to put in boundaries in friendships, especially if they’re an old friend or you know that there would never be any miscommunication but in my opinion I think it’s incredibly important in order to maintain healthy, godly friendships that will last.

I remember a mentor once saying to me that if I was to get into a relationship, how many of my friendships with guys would I have to change in order to make them appropriate for the new season I was walking in? Honestly, the answer was too many. At that point was when I began to intentionally create spaces of honest conversation with friends in order to guard both mine and their heart. 

Proverbs 4:23 [NIV]

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” 

In my own life I have seen time and time again situations where I either was confused about where I stood with a friend or a friend was confused about where they stood with me. Now, I know this can naturally happen without anyone doing anything ‘wrong’ but I do believe that there are ways to make your friendship clearer and to not leave space for misinterpretation. 

Each friendship and situation will probably be different but maybe it looks like choosing not to call after a certain time at night, or not hanging out 1 on 1 later in the day. I think there is something quite important around the time of day that you are choosing to engage with the other person. Late at night, you are tired, probably more emotional, won’t be as aware of how you are acting and when you have all of these playing a part it can lead to some awkward and potentially inappropriate moments with people. 

I am not saying this to make you panic or second guess yourself or your friendships. I am sure they are beautiful and filled with so much love but I think it is wise to every so often look at your friendships and relationships, even just to consider how you could love them better or if you are feeling loved and secure by those around you also. 

Friendship is a precious gift from God. Jesus is the ultimate example of friendship to us. When we look at the ones we have around us, we can look to scripture to help us navigate them. Romans 12.10 says “be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another before yourselves.” Pray for your friends, encourage them, show them the love of Jesus and most importantly keep your gaze fixed on Him. As long as Jesus is at the centre, know that your heart is safe.

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