Girl Talk: The Friend Factor

Lately, I have been thinking about my friends.  Last Christmas brought cards  from all over.  There were cards from my two best friends in high school, several cards from my college friends, and cards from people I was close to when I was in my 20’s at my first church.  All of these people have been an important part of my life.  Just how important are friends, past, present, and future, to who we are?

As a child there was nothing better than having friends with whom to play, laugh and explore.  New things with a good friend added to the excitement of the moment.  From the friendships of childhood, I learned that having fun with friends is one of life’s great joys and I wanted to make sure that I always had pals to experience life with me.

Friendship becomes much more intense as we live through our teen years.  The greater heartache was the betrayal of a friend.  Friendship became more complicated and transitory.  Friendships I had as a child didn’t usually make it into my teen years.  We went different directions, didnt have as much in common, or had outgrown each other.  As a teen I had various groups of friends at school, at youth group, at my job, and in my neighborhood all vying for my time and attention.

For me my college friends were steps above the rest.  We spent so much time together living in dorms, vacationing, working towards that graduation date, and struggling with the responsibilities of adulthood that it was inevitable that we should become very close.  I count these friends as blessings.  I was at my worst and best with them and they loved me unconditionally.

So what kind of friend am I now?  How are my friendships as an adult, as a church worker, as a woman with a family?  Is friendship harder now that I’m all “grown up”?

For various reasons it is more difficult to make friends now.  With children, a husband, a career, and all that goes with those things I don’t have much time to develop friendships.  Yet I count as my friends my husband, my children (when it is appropriate), and those that I work with.  I also count my extended family as friends.

As a church worker I can count my staff as friends.  They are an encouragement because we share a common faith and commitment to working for God’s church.  Together we are able to laugh at ourselves and find humor in the joys and struggles of ministry.  I have solid friendships with youth workers all over the United States.  It is always so good to see them.  That’s why we go to conferences, isn’t it?  As a church worker I am the recipient of God’s blessings of good friends in Christ.

God created us to be in relationships.  Friendships are important to our emotional health.  Friendships can come in all shape and sizes, there is no norm.  Jesus had friends from all walks of life.  I need to seek out friends from outside the church.  Since everyone of my friendships have blessed me and helped shape me into who I am today, I pray that in turn I am a blessing to my friends.

What about you?  Have you been thinking about friends lately?  May you be blessed with good friends and a lifetime of laughter and love with them!

About the author

View more from Cheri

Related Resources

The Habits That We Make: Parents

The Habits That We Make: Parents

We all have harmful habits, even in our churches. This article helps us think about how we might have habits where parents are not growing in their own Biblical education or even expecting the church and its workers to be the primary teachers of the Christian faith for their children. By identifying these kinds of habits, we can see how we might change them.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

As youth workers, we need to remember that this cohort that experienced the COVID pandemic during their younger years experienced it differently than adults. Through research, Dr. Tina Berg has been able to identify key learnings that can help us care for young people, particularly confirmands, in the wake of the pandemic.

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

We all have habits, some intentionally developed and others not. Knowing our habits in ministry can be important. For example, we may tend to isolate kids and/or youth from the rest of the congregation. This article talks about how to identify this habit and push against it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How do I know if our youth ministry program is healthy and properly caring for our teens?

Discover how you can enhance your youth ministry and serve the youth in your church with Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry.

Share This