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How Important are Friends?
They say that only 10% of men have a real friend--someone that they could actually bear their soul to. Many have lots of acquaintances, but the conversation never goes below the surface level.

And we women pride ourselves because we have so many friends! But I got thinking lately, do I really?

I have two women that I call on a fairly regular basis just to chat. One more than the other, perhaps. And I have a ton of women that I could call if I wanted to. It's just that the vast majority of the time, I don't want to. I don't particularly like talking on the phone that much, and when I do pick up the phone, it's usually while I'm doing dishes, or hanging laundry outside, or doing something else that is a definite candidate for multi-tasking (I draw the line at going to the bathroom while on the phone, though. That's just gross).

Anyway, Christian circles love talking about women's friendships, and how important they are. We have books upon books on how to be a good female friend. And the truth is, I'm not sure that I am, or that I particularly want to be, outside of these two people. It's not that I don't want friends; it's just that I want them to go out with, and to talk with occasionally, just not all the time.

To me, my husband is my best friend. I can tell him anything. I call my mother about once a day, too, because we get along quite well, and I call my mother-in-law a few times a week. I have a potential sister-in-law in the loop that looks like I may get quite close to, if and when my she and my brother-in-law cement the deal. And I guess for me, family plays a big part in my social needs.

Does that make me weird? I sometimes feel badly for not spending more time with female friends, but if I want to talk about something, I generally go running to my hubby or my mom, or I pour it out here.

The one really good memory I have of female bonding is the women's Bible study I was in for about three years. About 25 of us met regularly every Thursday morning, and we went really in-depth. What I loved about it was that there were older women mixed with us younger women (I was in my 20s at the time), and we learned so much from the older ones. I eventually went on to lead a number of studies by my third year, and I learned so much there. But we could pour our hearts out during the prayer request time, and get so much great advice, at the same time as we were delving deeply into the Word.

But I don't feel that I need that as much anymore. Perhaps because my children are no longer so young, I don't crave adult conversation in the way I did. And my kids are actually pretty fun to talk to at 11 and 14.

Sometimes I feel like I'm missing something, or perhaps I'm letting other women down by not trying so hard to be a friend. But I just don't have a lot of time, and I really really love my husband.

So what do you think? Is it okay to lean on your husband for most of your friendship needs? Or should we reaching out to a wider circle?

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At 2:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Should we have more friends? I think the answer is yes and no. I have 2 friends that I share most things with. (My husband is thankful he doesn't have to hear about PMS every month.) I have a friend or two who are pretty dinged up by life, and without me they would have no real friends to speak of. (God's reminder to me that not every relationship is going to nourish me, and that's okay.) I have a good relationship with my husband and family too. I look still, however, for a spiritual mentor for myself. Someone with whom I can discuss the deeper spiritual aspects of life, yet every woman I know who has this maturity doesn't have room for any more friends. She's busy leading a Bible study, which I could join if I chose. Or I could visit with her . . . and about 20 other women at a tea at her home. She knows my name and says hi as we pass each other at church. But her actions make it very obvious she doesn't want to foster a deeper relationship. I think we each need to be open to the idea of building deeper relationships with people who are drawn to us and want to learn from us.


At 3:00 PM , Blogger Berji's domain said…

My husband was first my friend (for many years) before heading down the romantic road of marriage. I would say he is definitely my best friend. But, I also have two REALLY good friends and a handful of pretty close other friends. The sad thing is that we all live in different states and countries. I'm not the type of person that needs or wants many friends. Give me a few good, loyal ones and I'm set. I honestly don't really understand the people that seem to have 25 "close" friends. :) So I'm with you on the limited number of intimate friends.


At 5:22 PM , Blogger Kimberly said…

I don't think you are strange at all. I have lots of friends, i am very friendly with however, there are very few people i let into the very intimate parts of my life.


At 12:45 PM , Anonymous Bonnie said…

I'm with you, not many close friends here in my life. But I have my husband, my mom and my sister to bear my soul to when I need to. I cherish my relationship with my mom, and call her several times a day. The same with my sister, we have children the same ages, and do a lot together. I am in my early thirties with young children and don't find that I have any time to foster close relationships with anyone else. I have friends at church and I am involved with with a couple of moms whom I have met through my children's friends, and for right now in my life, I feel like that is all that I have time for.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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