Making Time, Spending Time, and Giving Space
When it comes to relationships, intentionality is a common and essential characteristic of healthy relationships. Intentionality means to do something on purpose, for a specific reason, or by design. Being a good friend can often be easier said than done, and with COVID-19, many of us have had to rearrange our schedules meaning that friendships have had to take a back seat. Making time for friends can be difficult; knowing where to start or even start over maybe the most challenging part. Going back to some of the basic principles of friendship can be a helpful place to start.
Good friends often focus on being intentional in three areas: making time for one another, enjoying time together, and giving space when needed.
1. Good Friends Make Time
A good friend makes time for others and draws near when others are hurting. Someone who is a good friend is not just there for the celebrations but also for the hard times or not so pretty times. When stress is high or circumstances become difficult many of us isolate to handle the pressure when, in fact, social support is just what we need. A good friend is attuned to the relationship and looks for ways to serve the other through providing support on purpose.
2. Good Friends Enjoy Time Together
The idea of spending time together may seem simple, but it's good to remind ourselves that friends enjoy spending time with one another. And good friends are intentional about making time for each other. If making time is difficult for you, it may be helpful to think about where you have placed your priorities and work to put boundaries around time with friends to help you carve out time out of your busy schedule.
3. A Good Friend Gives Space
A healthy relationship has time both with and apart from the other person. A good friend is willing to give the other person space away from connecting to find peace and solitude. Giving space may be especially hard if we thoroughly enjoy being around the other person. But moderation still applies to time spent with friends. If you are on the giving or receiving end of a friendship that needs space, it may be helpful to ask yourself, "what is it that I need right now?" and ask the Lord to draw near to you or find other friends or activities that can help tend to that need.
Becoming a good friend takes time and intentionality but can also bring with it much joy. No one is perfect at being a good friend. But a good friend strives to share in loss and triumph with another. Each of these areas of friendship can be helpful to reflect on to assist you in recognizing the areas of friendship in which you can grow in intentionality in this season.
Learn more about how to help young adults make time, spend time, and give space to their friends using the Intentionally Friends module from the Relationship IQ Curriculum.