Friends are born out of commonality – the places our society takes us, activities ( places our interests take us), moral beliefs, and the product of our motherhood – namely, whether we have sons or daughters.
The sex of our children determines our path, and, surprisingly, many of our friendships that form over the first 18 years of their lives. Activity selection for our children moves mothers into two innate groups: mothers with daughters and mothers with sons. Friendships developed where our sons developed socially, academically, and spiritually. The best of friends are sent into our sphere by our Father, God.
God provides valuable companionship for his sons and daughters. In times of crisis, He sends companions to comfort and guide us through challenging times. Ultimately, through these companions we are guided into a closer relationship with our Father and, as a result, we are comforted in a supernatural way.
Friendship should lift up, encourage, help. There are two places from which friendship comes. It comes from older women who have been where you are and declare victory. They may be women who worked through hard times in marriage, raising children, maybe suffered childbearing crisis, or overcame a difficult childhood..
Friendships are gifts from God. The dictionary define a friend to be “a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; a favored companion; one with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade. “One with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause” defines friendships God sends. Struggles come; hardships come; heart-ache comes. Unless someone understands the struggle of a woman raising sons – understands the struggle, the emotions, then we risk being isolated. All we carry into a situation is what we have experienced. Sometimes, we need more than what our experience brings to the table. Wise decisions come with knowledge, but how do you acquire knowledge to handle new situations, different challenges?? Experience can be a teacher, but not always a very wise teacher. God does not leave his children down here defenseless, clueless, or friendless.
God provides allies as we face the challenges inherent in raising children. These allies may not be in our immediate set of “friends.” Often times, the allies the Lord has sent to guide me through crisis have been women I have over-looked. Though it does shame me to admit this, I believe it needs to be admitted because we cannot receive God’s guidance unless we are willing to look beyond our initial choice of companionship. God’s guide may not dress the way we like or look the way we like people to look. Maybe they are too opinionated or too quiet. How many times have we entered a room and migrated toward those who “look” and “act” like they would make good friends? How many times have we over-looked God’s guide because of prejudices saying, “Oh, they are too old. Their advice cannot really apply to me.” Maybe they are not a part of the “in” crowd. The best of friends appear when you are willing to look beyond your expectations.
God provides amazing friends – if you are willing to look outside the box. The next time you are sitting at a table with your friends, count how many have sons – just sons. Then think about why.
We moved into a new town before our second son was born. Each of my friends has been a gift from God. Because I was willing to look out of the box, I have been tremendously blessed. Some were sent to encourage, some to mentor, some to share the growing of our children. One friend not only helped the party-goers (all boys) at my sons 6th birthday party decorate t-shirts, but a few weeks later, when I couldn’t reach my feet in the hospital after the new baby was born, she came by to put socks on my feet so I could go walking. Two other friends were at my house in twenty minutes when the doctor didn’t get a heartbeat half way through a pregnancy – one brought the Pak-N-Play while the other took my sons while I went to the hospital. One very special older lady along with her husband prayed for my sons. Another had me on her daily prayer list.. She brought me homemade macaroni and cheese when my husband was out of town for a few weeks. One acquaintance who had just moved into town accidently spilled scalding hot apple cider on my 2 year old during a Halloween party. There is nothing that cements friendships more than spending time in an emergency room together. My sister-in-law, another friendship gift, encourages me by sharing her experience of raising her four sons. Another cried when she learned we were moving. She was able to express what I felt.
Do you have the friendships you need for the task set before you? If not, look around. Maybe there’s someone you missed! You might just find a gift from God!