“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”
I Believe in Guilt-Free Friendship
I want to be the kind of friend who gives the gift of guilt-free friendship. In a world where we women are so good at guilting ourselves over our weight, our workout routines (or lack thereof), the state of our houses, our kids, or our spiritual lives. I want to create safe spaces for my friends to know that my friendship is one thing they can count on to come without a side of guilt.
Guilt-free friendship says that anytime you get back to me is a good time. Guilt-free friendship says that I will always assume the best about your motives. Guilt-free friendship says that I won’t keep score when it comes to emails answered or phone calls returned.
Guilt-free friendship focuses on the friendship and ditches the guilt. Guilt-free friendship loves any chance and any slice of time to catch up, it isn’t about criticizing how much or how frequently that happens. Instead, guilt-free friendship is generous and forgiving and creates easy space for reconnecting because it doesn’t have any conditions for how or when or how often that happens.
Guilt-free friendship is the gift that women secure in their own sense of acceptance can give each other. It’s an impossible gift when we’re taking our worth and measuring our validation by the frequency with which we hear from each other.
Instead, anchoring our identity in the God who is obsessed with spending time with us makes us freely available to give grace to our friends who literally, humanly aren’t able to make themselves that kind of available. When we are convinced that our lives bring delight to a God who views us with such an all-consuming passion that He would choose to woo us, love us, die for us, sing over us, and celebrate us, then we are women who can give each other the gift of guilt-free friendship.
It will remake you and liberate you and your friendships to believe that there’s a God more passionate about you than the ending of any Jane Austen novel. So let Him. Just let Him.
And then let your friends know they’re always welcome, whenever they can, without an added side of guilt. And my hope is that it will be the sweetest kind of relief, to both of you.
What are some of the ways you’ve seen evidence of how much God loves you this week?
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I know I sometimes incorrectly assume that when a friend doesn’t get back to me, perhaps my friendship doesn’t rank high on her priority scale, or her life is so much fuller than mine that she doesn’t have time for me. I can honestly say, that when I’ve assumed, without facts, 99% of the time I’m wrong. When friends don’t get back to us…maybe they are overwhelmed and weary and need some encouragement. Maybe they are going through a trial and have retreated from the world and need a friend to reach out to them. Maybe they are feeling the same way I am feeling?? Yes, guilt free friendship that assumes the best about others and offers the best to them as well. Amen to this!!
I have similar feelings as you and know I have to try harder not to take a no reply in a negative way
Thank-you for putting it so well.
Have a blessed day,
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Thanks Penny…blessings to you this day as well 🙂
Beth Williams says
I have a few “best friends”. It is important for me to stay in contact with them. I know some of what they are going through and love love love to encourage them and just be there for them during their trials. I love having guilt-free friendships. My priority is being friends and sharing this life with them-the good, bad & ugly. I pray for each of them daily!
One big evidence that God loves me is He allowed me to bring my aging dad out of the new assisted living-memory care- to my house and into town to get his glasses fixed. He did great with little disorientation. That is a huge improvement over the last time he went out. God is Super!!!
So happy for you to hear of your dad’s improvement.
take Care, & have a blessed day!
Beth, that is so wonderful 🙂 Praise be to our Lord for His grace 🙂
Your post reminded me not to assume even weeks of no reply might mean rejection. Thanks Lisa Jo.
This week I’ve been helped by processing something difficult and I’m now beginning to accept it.Thanks be to Him for seeing me through it. I am grateful.
Mary T says
This post reminded me that I have a closest friend who is that friend to me… always has been… forgiving me time and time again…and our relationship and friendship has grown and deepened with the passing of years and time…the sharing of sorrows and joys… I thank God for my friend Linda! ♡
Thanks Mary love you too! I’ll always be there for you.
Rebecca Jones says
I’ve been blessed with rest this weekend. I’m the one who calls or e-mails, I check on people. I know some are busy but it only takes a minute send a verse or text.
This resonates so well with me Lisa! Several years ago I had a fall-out with a friend. She and I were inseparable for many years and had walked each other through very difficult times. She stood by me when my ex left me alone to face an unplanned pregnancy and single motherhood. Two years after that, God eventually introduced me to my now husband and we were less with three more beautiful children. My friend confronted me about my availability to her which admittedly had changed significantly now with the needs of my growing family and my strong sense sense of commitment to building a solid foundation for my marriage with my husband. She is such a strong woman which sometimes translates into stubbornness. There was no room or opportunity to discuss the possibility that her feelings might be related to her not feeling needed from me anymore. Instead I was criticized for not trying hard enough and not making her a priority. This was over 3 years ago and the conversation is still very fresh in my mind. And although I trust I did what was right for my family at the time, there is guilt.
Gail Noe says
Last week I lost patience with my husband who is experiencing a severe challenge with memory. I shouted “thank you, Jesus” thru frustration and gritted teeth. For the rest of the day I sought the Lord on how He wants me to handle this difficult situation. Before going to bed, the Holy Spirit had me pick up a newsletter from a large ministry. As I did, the Lord made His love for me abundantly, graciously clear through an article!!! Here I was waiting for instructions, but instead the Lord chose to let me know that even through my frustration He was loving me unconditionally! I no longer put trust in my love for Jesus, but in His love for me. Big difference
Gail, thank you for this blessed post, for saying that putting trust in His love is best 🙂 I needed that lightbulb to lay down more of myself, to trust more in His mercy and love. He honors our choices, but He never stops being a good and watchful, reaching out Father-Psalm 121. Praise be the Lord, who always hears and answers as we seek Him 🙂
Lisa-Jo, I thank the Lord for this post this AM and to you for speaking this gentle word-He is so good to answer a prayer. Bev, I really understand what you are saying because I have wrongly assumed too and had my moments where I felt rejected :P. Focusing on blessed time with the Lord first, placing Him at life center, allows a receiving of His love so that we can reach out to others, offering a hand and heart in love and patience and not guilt. As Jesus reached out, may we do so also for those who reach out and who may not be able to. May each of us will the good of one another each day, resting in His love for us which is always meeting our needs in Christ 🙂
Shelly Faust says
Love this so much.
Bernie Daniels says
This is such a great post! I think I learned this kind of friendship a long time ago. Even as a young teenager, I could never understand the “strings attached” friendships. Those who wanted you to only be friends with them, and no one else, and who were jealous when you did something with someone else. It was all so trivial & childish to me. I guess that’s when I started learning about guilt free friendship. Even in my early 20’s when I was a newlywed, and then when I became a mother, I realized that all my friends were just as busy as I was, and that getting to spend even a few minutes catching up, exchanging a hug, sharing a prayer, was a real blessing. It really makes for lasting friendships! My best friend & I have been friends for more than 30 years, and this is how we have always been with each other, no guilt, no demands, just knowing that we are here for each other, and when we do happen to get to spend some time in the same room together, it’s a blast!