As a child friendship came easy. I remember moving into a new neighborhood and riding my bike down the street listening for the distinctive sound of a basketball bouncing. Once I dialed in on the sound, and found those that were playing, It was instant friendship.
As I get older I realize that friendships, real authentic friendships, don’t come as easy as they used to. There are a variety of reasons for this. We’re older. Were married. We have kids. We have kids (did I say we have kids?).
As I look back at the authentic true friendships that have sustained time, distance, and hardships I can see that there is a common factor that helped to foster such relationships.
living life together
My childhood friends, family, and cousins all have stories we tell and remind ourselves of. When we used to play power rangers and fight over who would be red ranger (Havil). When shadow attacked cecil while he was sleeping (shadow was a puppy and licked Cecil’s face). Spending long hours and night playing music and laughing (Pierre).
In my post college years it was doing an internship with a group of guys and girls. I can’t even tell some of the stories during that internship. But feel free to ask Eric, Ryan, Edwin, Carlos, Julio, or Caleb. A favorite story is Eric breaking Caleb’s headlight by throwing a chair at it. Ohh..and an X-box…(probably still to soon). One of those girls became my wife and mother of my three children.
Church planting with an incredible pastor (Steve) and some of my best friends. Leading worship for kids camp and drowning Borris with water on stage (Sean). Late night talks on the porch talking theology, life, and ministry (Steve, Levi, Vincent).
There are hundreds more stories like these. I’ve come to the realization that some of these early friendships will always hold a special place. They were forged out of experience, challenge, love, and laughter.
As we get older these moments seem to get shorter. We get caught up in life, work, and family. All these things are good but it means it takes more work to build authentic friendships. Here are a few things I suggest that may help build authentic friendships as you get older.
1. Be intentional about living life together
2. Look for shared likes, hobbies, that you can build around
3. Share your story. What has God done in your life and why are you where you are?