What’s a Low Maintenance Friendship?

Two friends
Two friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.  Proverbs 18:19

I was talking with one of my friends the other day on a short run and we were talking about how awesome it is to have a friendship that is a low maintenance friendship.  A low maintenance friendship is one that is bathed in comfort and knowledge of the other person and who they are and what they mean to you without having drama tossed in the middle of the friendship.  You don’t offend each other if you don’t see or talk to the other person in a certain length of time.  Or you text or email them and they don’t respond in the same day, but you know what their life is like and how hectic the schedule they have is.  That is a comfortable friendship that is immersed in unconditional love.  The above scripture is talking about unhealthy friendships, those that are steeped in drama and fear.  In this blog I want to talk about both sides to friendships and how it’s better to have those close friendships be ones that are low maintenance.

A sprit of offence is one that is so involved with the emotion of fear.  We fear the worst when we are offended.  When you are offended you don’t want to forgive your friend.  Fear keeps us in the gate locked with bars.  What do we fear?  We fear we are wrong in the argument whatever that argument may be.  We fear of backing down when we are right.  When working on friendships or relationships in general, they do take work.  To be frank here, we really need to involve ourselves with people that are not going to sap our strength and suck the joy out of our life.  There are some people like this that can really just ruin our lives by their constant negativity.  This type of person you have to be so careful with, it’s as if you are walking on eggshells around them.  Eggshells are so easy to break, so is this type of person, to set them into the offensive mode.  It’s best to leave this friendship behind if the person cannot add to your life instead of taking away life.

Let’s focus on what a low maintenance friendship is.  First what is great about a low maintenance friendship is you don’t have to be in that person’s presence all the time and know that they love and care for you.  When fear is not part of the equation it’s easy to understand your friend and know who they are and how they feel about you.    Just as if you are watching a ballet, the key to the dance is always the balance the dancers display.  Fear takes away balance in a friendship and can destroy it even before it begins.  The key to keeping fear out of a friendship is to be open an honest with your friends that you want close.  That gives adds an element of risk to our friendship.

Risk is the next element to having a low maintenance friendship.  To have even a good friendship involves risk.  We risk rejection, we risk being foolish, we risk being open.  Risk is well worth the risk because we will discover someone who may be dealing with the same things we are dealing with.  When you discover this, you have a close friend that will be there for you when you have to deal with trouble and tragedy in your life.  That brings me to the next element and that is closeness.

Closeness is that understanding that two friends can share without words being said.  You usually have an idea of what they are thinking because you are like minded.  That is the biggest thing you can have is being like minded.  Now don’t get me wrong you may not always agree on everything, but that is the beauty of friendship and it not being high maintenance.  You are free to share with the other person even if you are not in agreement on everything.  I have found in my own low maintenances friendships that I may not have seen it from the point of view my friend is sharing with me.  We have to be humble enough to see their point of view even if it may not agree with us.  That’s what a low maintenance friendship is, being humble enough to listen and even change your idea if need be.  The framework for all of what I just describe is of course unconditional love.

Unconditional love is the underscore of all of this and you cannot have unconditional love without God in the middle of your friendship.  Balance, risk, and closeness work together with unconditional love.  God gives us the strength to find balance, not fear.  He helps us to take risks and not fear.  He allows us to be open and get close to these people.  A godly friend is the best low maintenance relationship you can ever experience.  It’s what makes great friendships and awesome strong marriages.   The best way to keep the drama and fear out of your friendship is to allow God to be the major part of it.  Without Him you will more than likely have the high maintenance ones that suck the life out of you.

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. highheelz says:

    David, this is a great blog post. I am in a season of asking God to restore some friendships for me. The great thing about connecting with a friend in a low maintenance friendship that has God at the center is the unconditional love that allows us to have patience with our friend when things temporarily move into the high maintenance zone. I have a low maintenance friend that I grew up with and it is amazing how we don’t talk that often yet, when we do, we somehow seem to pick up right where we left off and catch up. Sometimes God will have you in a place where you are alone but that doesn’t mean there is an absence of friends; God just may have some things He wants to work through with you and you alone.

    1. asd539 says:

      Thanks for the awesome comment that adds to my blog. Yep, sometimes He does separate us from people so that we can focus on Him. But we are to be social beings and godly friends are awesome and bless us so much. 🙂

  2. I wondered about low maintenance friendships due to some drama going on right now in a friendship then I read your blog. Thank you – God always has a plan and He knew that I needed to read this today. One, for my own benefit in realizing that something offended me had a root of fear behind it. Not a major root, but there was definitely truth in what you said. I know this because it upset me when I read it at first…and ugly things that are usually true about myself tend to do that. However, you made some other valid points about some people sapping our strength and trying to suck the joy out of our life with their constant negativity. God has not been the major part of my friendship with this person. That pretty much sums it up I think. I am currently reading a book called “Extraordinary Grace” which is wonderful but also very hard to read because I realize I need more of it in my life. Balance – risk – and closeness all working together. Unconditional love. I won’t forget what I have read today. Thank you!

    1. asd539 says:

      Carla, thanks so much for your awesome comments. For some reason this continues to be one of my most popular blogs. I am humbled by the fact that this blog might have helped you move forward in your life. It’s all in having a loving attitude and not being afraid to show it. Facing our inadequacies are the first step toward change. Thanks again, you’re awesome!! 🙂

  3. asd539 says:

    Reblogged this on David's Body Temple and commented:

    This is probably my most read blog. I guess it hits home to a lot of people.

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