Friendship Through the Ordinary and Mundane

Ishnita Nayantara Keskar   |   May 31, 2024 

Have you noticed how easily small children can make friends? If not, you should watch kids in a playground. They smile, share a sweet, join in a game, or ask, “Will you play with me?” and they become friends! But the older we get, the more refined our choices become. With age, it becomes harder to make long-lasting friends. Our friendships become more focused, time-bound, and specific to our needs.

I realised how my own choices changed with the education I received, the transformation in my thoughts, marital status, and the arrival of motherhood. My friendship needs have changed over the years from needing company for a movie or shopping to befriending people with kids so that we could do play dates! However, the longing to share life and connect has remained the same.

My Own Journey of Friendship

I have always found it easy to make friends. God has shown His grace, love, provision, and joy through each friend, enriching my life immensely. Many of those friendships are not thriving anymore and some are a mere memory. The recent past left me with a lack of active friendships.

With a relocation in the middle of the pandemic, I found myself struggling with loneliness and missed having a friend to call over for a cup of coffee. I drew closer to God at that time and got busier at home with my family. Now and then, I would feel that longing and fulfill it by calling some folks, but after a few months, those calls faded too. I soon found myself thinking of some friends but never calling them or texting them because I thought I did not have much to share!

Life has hit a monotonous pace. While a house with kids can barely be boring or quiet, the routine is pretty much the same. There are a few things to add and subtract now and then. When I call people, I do not know what update to give them! Maybe social media makes us feel like we need to keep updating people, or we just avoid getting too deep! Either way, I struggled with the idea that I did not have much to talk about and so I stopped calling others.

God's Provision of Friendship

But God is so good - He knows what we need and how we need it. Most gently, He introduced me to a couple of moms who take daily walks in my residential area.

We have known each other for a year now and have stepped out together just a few times, but we look forward to our evening walks together. While we chaperone our children at play, we walk around the blocks and talk! And we talk- about food, recipes, kid’s problems, places to visit, and the most mundane things from our day-to-day living. If we do not see each other for a few days, we miss each other! So, when I was worrying that life was too mundane to share the daily stuff about, God sent me these friends to do just that - talk, share, and connect.

God's Purpose for Friendship

In my younger years, I would have never thought that adult friendships needed effort and intention. I thought it was something that occurred naturally.

In the simplicity of everyday encounters, God reveals His provision for our intricate social needs, if we are humble enough to receive it. The fulfillment in these friendships reminds us of God’s purpose for us to experience God’s love, grace, fellowship, and communion through people. Incidentally, the deficiency and imperfection in these friendships are a good reminder that no earthly friendship or relationship was ever intended to fill that ‘God-shaped vacuum’ in our hearts.

Friendship in the Bible

In addition to God’s creation of marriage and family in Genesis chapter one, He also shaped us to value other relationships. Significant examples are that of God and Abraham (referred to as God’s friend), David and Jonathan, Abraham and Lot, Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Timothy (also a mentoring relationship), Ruth and Naomi (although related showed friendship), Daniel with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; Moses and Aaron, Jesus and Lazarus, Jesus and his disciples.

We may think that focusing on friendship is an idea from the modern world, but the Bible has such deep and beautiful examples of friendships and values it in a deeper and more sanctified way that the world ever could.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

These words of Jesus set the ultimate standard of friendship. Even as I write this article, I am reminded that God calls us to share, sacrifice, restore, and pursue our friendships, be it an interesting time in our lives or whether it is in a mundane season.

We are called to encourage friends, help them grow, trust them, and show the Godly example of love that has been shown to us. To walk the good faith, we need to ask God for good friends and pray that He shapes us into a good friend too! As Aaron Menikoff puts it,

“Not all of us are called to be husbands or wives, but we are all called to be friends.”

 

Photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash

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Ishnita Nayantara Keskar

Ishnita Nayantara Keskar is a mother of two and currently lives with her husband and children in Bhopal. She is pursuing her PhD in the Psychology of Education from Jawaharlal University, Delhi. She loves writing, travelling, driving and watching movies.

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