I was surprised to see their friendship disintegrate so quickly. No more phone calls. No more shopping sprees; only an awkward acknowledgment of one another’s presence as they accidentally made eye contact in public.
They were self-professed best friends who confided in each other about everything. It was out of the ordinary if they went a day without their routine phone conversation or text message. I witnessed them give each other gifts, bring home souvenirs from vacations, and think of each other during birthdays and holidays.
Their relationship was the envy of every woman who longs for a best friend. They’re bond made elementary school friendships look …. well, elementary. I didn’t understand why it was short lived.
As I grew up, I often thought about this dynamic duo. I wondered why their friendship suddenly came to an end. How do people who seem so connected wind up never speaking again? It just doesn’t make sense, and if I’m being completely honest, it bothered me.
There were no obvious answers. From the outside, my assessment of their friendship looked perfect. They were Thelma and Louise. They were what Anne from Anne of Green Gables calls a “bosom friend”. They went together like the two perfect parts of an Oreo cookie. Who doesn’t love Oreos?
I had to know what happened, so I did what any nosey outsider would do: I asked one of them how this perfect friendship went wrong.
The one I asked wasn’t exactly sure. She couldn’t give me definitive answers. There were no pivotal moments in their relationship where they got into a fight and ended the friendship. One didn’t deliberately hurt the other. She seemed just as confused as I was. They somehow grew apart, and that was that.
When I walked away that day, I thought more about what she said. And although she couldn’t give me clear answers as to why they aren’t friends anymore, I figured it out. I suddenly realized their friendship was doomed from the start. It was only a matter of time before they drifted apart and never spoke again.
They were an imitation of best friends, faux friends, I should say. The foundation of their friendship was so shallow it was only a matter of time before it collapsed.
Here’s the thing about lasting friendships … they’re built on a foundation, just like any other relationship. And if that foundation isn’t strong, your friendship is trying to find a firm footing on shallow ground.
The two ladies I described built their friendship on gossip and complaining. They bonded over the faults of others, and feasted over common frustrations with mutual acquaintances. Their conversations had no depth, but they were entertaining. Because they both enjoyed having one another to vent to, they thought they were the best of friends. Their shallow relationship deceived them into thinking their was substance that could withstand hardships and trials.
So, how do we spot a friend faux-ever when what we need is a friend for-ever?
This may sound a little surprising to you, but you help create the friend or faux. The friendship you create really depends on what you build on. And I’m not just talking about a casual friendship. I’m talking about that friend who gets you. The one who knows you and still loves you. You know the one I’m talking about? She tells you when you have food in your teeth or a booger hanging off your nose. Let’s be real, there aren’t too many people I’m going to ask to check for food in my teeth. You know who you are girls, and I salute you!
We all want those road trip friends. The ones we can call late at night and your husband doesn’t get mad because he gets it. He knows it’s your bestie. We all deserve friends like that, and trust me when I tell you they are not easy to come by. But they are possible.
I’m sure many of us have heard of the story in Matthew 7:24-27 where two men built their houses on foundations. I’ve heard this story countless times but never have I equated it to friendship before this week. Maybe if I had, I would have established more lasting friendships in the past.
The two men had so much in common. They both built a house. They both experienced hard times in life. But there were two very different outcomes for each, and it all depended on what they chose to build on.
Anything we build has to have a solid foundation. In the physical it’s any structure that holds weight. We have architects that map out and design the proper foundation for each structure so it can handle all it’s designed for.
Relationships are no different. Lasting marriages, relationships and friendships require a strong foundation so they can handle all that God has designed.
Building on the rock is building on the foundation of our faith. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” If Jesus is the foundation of your faith, your relationships are built on something that lasts.
That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Things will come and test your friendship. I used to think friends couldn’t get mad at each other. I thought they had to love at all times, like Proverbs says. But that’s not what that verse means. If Christ is our foundation, then even when we fight we will choose to apologize and sympathize with each other.
The man who built his house on the rock in Matthew had storms that came his way. Just like the foolish man, floods came and winds blew and slammed against the house.
You will get angry with your wonderful and loving friends. You will have to work through jealousy, competition and all the other immature things we wrestle with at times. But, this promise in Matthew is that with Jesus as the cornerstone of your relationship, you will grow stronger together.
I’ve built faux friendships, so I understand. I’ve built my own friendships on gossip and when I ran out of words to say about others I had no conversation left to have with my faux friends.
I’ve built friendships on complaining and when I ran out of things to complain about, I had nothing left to talk about. Can someone say, “Awkward silence?”
I’ve built faux friendships on jobs, college majors, and other things that were short lived. But when the job ended and I graduated from college we no longer had anything in common and no real foundation.
Building on sand is building on things that don’t last. Partying with your fiends is sand. Gossiping in conversation is sand. Complaining about our lives or people in them is sand.
What are you building your friendships on? If you can identify the foundation you can identify whether you have a friend for-ever or a friend faux-ever.
And if we don’t identify the foundation now the storms will identify them for us, but by then it’ll be too late. And like the women at the beginning of this blog, we will be left wondering what happened?
My challenge to you this week is to evaluate the foundation of the relationships in your life. What are they built on? Are you satisfied with the depth of your friendships? We all want and need those close friendships that last, but until we build on the Rock we will always be wanting.
And so my friends, I want to leave you with something to think about. Many people marvel at the marriages that last a lifetime. But what about those friendships that last a lifetime? Those are just as awe-inspiring and inspirational because they are not easy.
The best of friends will still have to deal with bad news and bad days. We will still have to deal with moodiness and arguments over ridiculous things. But if the foundation is strong and built on faith, we’ll get through it and have some amazing stories to laugh about as we enjoy those long road trips with our besties!
Wishing you the best in your friendships!