It wasn’t much different when I started having my own children. Our kids would automatically label anyone whom they met as a “friend” and ask if we could have a play date.
While I am generally a friendly person and highly encourage my children to be so as well, I have also come to the conclusion that not everyone we meet can be our friend.
Being someone’s friend implies that you are going to invest something in their lives. Being a friend is more than just playing or even talking; it is building something into that person and letting them do the same with you.
Being someone’s friend means that we have a bond, which is usually accompanied with affection (on one level or another). You support one another and champion their cause. A friend doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. They’re someone whom you can depend upon, no matter the situation.
I confess, based on these descriptions, I am not a friend to everyone I meet. I don’t know that I could even try! There is not enough of me (or anyone else for that matter) to be a friend to everyone on the planet.
No, to be realistic, I think it safer to assume that while I am friendly with almost everyone, I have more acquaintances than friends.
An acquaintance, as opposed to a friend, is someone about whom I only have slight knowledge. They are someone whom I have met and enjoyed for a brief moment, but unfortunately do not have a close relationship with.
As my children get older, I am helping them to become aware of the difference and to choose their friends wisely.
Not everyone they meet, will or ought to be considered their friend. Our friends are people that we are associated with, people who are like-minded, and will help us become better than we are.
The Bible is very clear about how we should pick friends, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26)
Over the years, I have enjoyed the blessing of a few good friends and the company of many great acquaintances. Each have added something to my life and have taught me valuable lessons.
I pray that as my children grow older, they will learn to discern between the two and yet remain open to those who are not yet friends.
Being on WordPress, I have had the privilege of making a few new friends and learning life lessons from those with whom I have become acquainted. It is my sincere hope that some of you who are merely acquaintances now would, though time, become dear friends.
What do you think is the significant different between a friend and an acquaintance?