Building Friendships as Grown-ups

The other day at work, the 23-year-old ministry associate who works in my office asked me, “How often do you and your husband get together with other couples your age?”

I answered,”Maybe once a month now, because, well, we have 4 kids, 2 jobs+, a dog, and only 24 hours in a day.”

He was a bit disappointed with my answer.  You see, he and his young wife have been in St Louis for about 2 years, and they haven’t made a lot of good friends.  It is hard to go from the college environment where all you do is study, sleep, eat, and think of ways to socialize with all those people who are just like you and who live right next to you!

It takes real work to make friends after you enter the adult world.  Even in the church, where building relationships with other Christians is supposed to be part of the deal, it isn’t always easy.  We have to go out of the way to strike up friendships, and even then, it often feels unnatural and awkward.  If you’re married, you have to figure out ways to include your spouse in new friendships.  Then, add the kids, and you have to work them into the equation, too.

The sad thing is, that even in adulthood, we feel those same insecurities we had in high school about reaching out to other people.  We worry about reactions.  We worry about rejection.  We worry that our houses aren’t up to par for visitors.  We worry about being vulnerable.

I propose that we have to get past all these worries and just get out there and make the effort.  We have to set aside a day here or there every so often and make a plan to get together with friends.  We can’t live in fear, and besides, as Christians we are commanded to love one another and to bear each others burdens.  It’s a lot easier to obey those commands if we take the time to get to know the people in the trenches with us.

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