Even though they live across the pond in the African bush, Mr. Beless & I continue to be discipled in the ways of friendship by these two.
If you don't remember, Grant & Brooks were Young Guns together at Pine Cove, chopping brush & building things, including the beginnings of a deep friendship that would carry them through three years of living together in the 1804 Leona house in College Station.
Five hundred miles north, Elizabeth & I connected through the dear old KKG house at the University of Arkansas where we roomed together for the next three years.
The four of us met, completely independently of one another, hit it off to the point of choosing to spend the rest of our lives together (in married-couple fashion), and now we're best friends, married to best friends.
As you can imagine, Grant & Elizabeth hugely impact on the way Brooks & I go about doing life, as well as our marriage. [Check out Friendship 101 for more on that.] A little over a month ago the Seifrieds returned home for some work stateside & a chance to reconnect with those they love. The four of us had been dreaming of our reunion for months prior, hoping for a place to laugh, share stories, eat well, and catch up on life. Guess what? It happened!
We realize the value of our friendship to one another & want to continue to create opportunities for continued growth, so we've planned to do a retreat of sorts at least once a year for the rest of forever. How fun is that?! I'm telling you, the thought to pray for such goodness never even crossed our minds!
The first evening of our little getaway the men asked the ladies to help brainstorm what we want these times together to look like. Pen in hand, Elizabeth scribed as we rattled off the following criteria:
-Guy/Girl catch up time
-Friendship & marriage review
As we continued talking, we came up with a few questions that we plan to ask each other each year during our friendship & marriage review:
-How have we loved you well as your friends?
-How can we love you better?
-What victories have you experienced in your marriage this year?
-What hardships have you undergone this year?
-In what areas have you seen or experienced growth in your marriage this year?
-What areas need work?
The next evening we had our first annual Beless/Seifried friendship & marriage review over a delicious steak dinner (bonus!). Truly, there are no words to communicate what a sweet time that was for the four of us. I am continually amazed at how life-giving it is to both know & be known. I'm sharing all of this because I want to encourage you (both married & single friends) to engage in intentional, life-giving conversations with the friends that you do have in hopes of building into & cultivating greater depth within those relationships, even if they're not best friend status (yet). It is such a valuable & time-worthy endeavor!
How do you cultivate depth of friendship within your relationships?
What questions would you want to ask or be asked if you held a friendship/marriage review of your own?