We’re wired to be relational – but there are different levels of relationship.
Focus on the Family’s Erin Smalley breaks it down into a basket analogy. There are three baskets that represent the relationships we have with other woman.
The group of 20-100 women who you interact with on a regular basis.
This is the Starbucks lady or those who you interact with on a casual basis. Erin knows a woman who works at Sonic and they speak on a regular basis. She would pull into a stall for her daily diet Coke, and Carolyn became an acquaintance.
“We would exchange you know ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and ‘We’re going to get rain or snow later on…’ and it was just very matter-of-fact.”
There aren’t a lot of deep heart connections in this basket of people, but you enjoy being around them.
The second basket typically has 5-20 women who are our good friends or companions.
The level of intimacy and conversations are a bit deeper. You share opinions, concerns, family stories, even prayer requests.
“Maybe you work together or you have a shared season together, maybe you’re doing a project together. They’re a mom of someone in your son’s class. You share some deep times, but it may just be for a season. It’s not that deepest level of intimacy and connection.”
The final basket only has 1-4 women in it.
“When you have one of these in your basket when you are blessed.”
Research shows that many don’t have these deep connections. our hearts are built to long for these relationships.
“These are people that we share our hearts with. It’s a deep level of commitment and trust. We share needs and we share feelings. It takes time to develop these relationships.”
Conflict is going to happen in these relationships. We need to be ready for hard conversations within these relationships.
“These are the relationships you will run into some relational dynamics or maybe some conflict, differences of opinion, preferences or personality differences. It’s going to happen. How are you going to choose to handle it, to honor God, the relationship, and yourself?”
You can find more information in Erin’s book, Grown-Up Girlfriends.
Key Scriptures: John 13:34-35