- Close friends are fun to hang out with, just like lighthouses are fun places to visit. They are a welcome sight.
- My rich friendships stand out like beacons in my life. They are loyal when all grows dark.
- I’m guided by the wise advice my friends share with me, as well as the way they model integrity in their relationships. Ships and lighthouses survive through storms.
- My closer friends are bright and positive influences in my life (not draining and/or self-seeking). Instead, I experience a mutual give and take. One acts like the lighthouse one day and becomes the ship the next.
- Some of the most rewarding and beautiful friendships I’ve had are the way they are because of the lighthouse keeper. They operate from a Holy Spirit place of love, relying on the light keeper to care for us so we can care for one another.
In these days when connections can be made online or offline, how have I worked to secure these relationships?
Here are four of the best ways to develop lighthouse friendships:
- Take Risks
We’ve moved over six times in the eleven years we’ve been married. I should have a black belt in friend making by this point. I’m unafraid of striking up a conversation on the playground, shooting an email to invite someone over, or going out of my way to help a preschool mom, etc.
Recently I had one of the most refreshing lunches I’ve had in quite some time with a fellow author all because I bothered to reach out. You might not make a strong connection—unable to anchor and get deep, but it never hurts to try.
- Find Common Ground
What do a ship and a lighthouse have in common? The ocean, of course. Friendships thrive when there’s something binding them together—when there’s a common focus. Look for it. You’d be amazed how easy commonalities are to unearth. The obvious connections I’ve made would be with fellow moms, but I’ve also grown close to women who share a love of chocolate, reading, asking questions, and leading.
- Look to Serve
Uplift and build up others before you think to ask others to build you up. The lighthouse doesn’t make the ship give it something before it shines the light—it simply shines the light. It takes the lead. Having this mindset is essential in creating strong bonds. Be a lighthouse or a ship, not the barnacles suctioned to the rocks.
- Be Bold with Gratitude & Follow Up
Modern lighthouses flash and have the capability of rotating 180 degrees. It isn’t enough to express gratitude in a friendship once. It’s imperative to follow up nowadays, while still in the building stages of the friendship, but also once anchored. It’s worth it to keep that light flashing.
And don’t forget to thank the light keeper who makes wonderful friendships possible.
What have you learned about strengthening friendship bonds?