I’m lonely…now what?
The goal for this week’s group time is to help the students understand that friendships are created and sustained by each person taking initiative to encourage, listen to, and be honest with, the other person. So often we become apathetic in our friendships and begin to treat others like medicine, only going to them when we need support and forgetting about them when we are feeling good. Putting forth effort to show the other person you genuinely care about them as a person is the key to sustaining close friendships. However, we cannot control whether someone reciprocates our caring actions. So, in those cases, hold on to the hope of knowing no act of care towards another is wasted and move on to find someone else who will appreciate what you have to give.
The other aspect of creating and sustaining healthy friendships is allowing others to serve you. Nothing is more annoying than the person who rejects the help of others because they feel they do not deserve it. For example, when others try to do things for them they often say things like, “No, No, let me do that for you!” Or, “Thank you for this, but you should not have done this!” And, “Thank you for the gift, now I feel like I need to do something for you in return!” This type of hyper-humility is a way of revealing how unlovable you feel. I get it, you may not have been raised to know your worth and most likely acts of service in your childhood home were used as tools of manipulation. So, remind your students they are worthy of love because they are created in the image of God and He loves them!
Not only do friendships strengthen us to deal with life’s struggles, but they give us an opportunity to give of ourselves and experience greater joy. Giving of ourselves for the good of another is what gives our lives meaning. After all, that was Christ’s mission, not to be served but to serve.