Do you remember how big of a deal your friends were in high school and college? They were everything – my guess is you wanted to do everything with them, spend as much time with them as possible, figure out life with them and just be yourself with them. They were a source of encouragement, rebuke, understanding and joy.
But the whole concept of friendship seems to take a real beating in our 20’s.
There’s a sea of new relationships to navigate. For the first time in our lives, we have coworkers and apartment mates. Dating relationships get more serious and start to turn into marriages. Kids enter the picture with all of their play dates, preschools and weekends at the playground. Every one of these changes is good. But many times they come at the expense of our friends. If we’re not careful, we can wake up in our 30’s and realize we don’t really have any close friends.
It’s interesting to see how concerned Solomon was with friendship when he was writing the proverbs. Consider just a few:
- A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Prov. 17:17)
- A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov. 18:24)
- Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. (Prov. 27:9)
The wisest man who ever lived seemed to think it was important to have a few close friends. He needed people who would stick with him no matter what. He wanted to know he had a few guys in his corner when he failed and needed to be picked up. He needed people to shoot straight with him. He needed people who were willing to tell him what he needed to hear even when he didn’t want to hear it.
Honestly, I need the same. We all do.
But those kind of close friendships don’t happen by accident. They take time, intentionality and the willingness to ride out a few storms.
So, here’s my question for you if you’re in your 20’s: Who are the people in your life now who you know will be there for you 30 years from now? Who are the friends you’re going to want to go on vacation with when you’re married and have kids? Who would you call if the bottom dropped out of life and you needed serious help? Those are your closest friends. Prioritize them, invest in them, take the risk of being vulnerable with them, let them into your world and stay involved in theirs.
There are plenty of people who bring joy to our lives for a season. But my closest friends have been with me through multiple seasons. We’ve been in each other’s weddings. We’ve all changed jobs (in most cases, several times). We’ve all moved. We’ve seen each other at our best and our worst. They couldn’t care less that I’m a pastor or church planter. They just love me. And I love them.
Don’t let adulthood crush friendship. Whether you’re in your 20’s, 30’s or beyond, there’s always room to form, strengthen and enjoy the blessings of a few close friends. You’re life will be so much richer if you do.