I remember my mom taking us to the specialty shoe story because we all had wide feet and she believed in good shoes for growing feet. I am sure she had sticker shock every time she dragged us in there. The shoes had to fit us now but also be ready for us as we grew. Of course, it was anybody’s guess when the next growth spurt would happen and the hope was to be able to get several months out of the new footwear.
I always like to have a few different kinds of shoes, depending on my activity for the day. So I have my summer sandals, my zories, water shoes, walking shoes, dress up shoes, casual shoes for jeans, and rain boots. And I confess that I bought a pair of shoes because I thought they would be fun to wear in the summer with capris. Now I am embarrassed that I have listed off all those shoes; eight seems a little over the top!
Relationships can be similar to shoes. You likely have a number of them. Each relationship might have a different emphasis – one might be your walking buddy and one might be a work friend and one might be your “play” mate. Some fit in certain settings but not in every setting. And you might meet someone and hit it off immediately but after spending all day together you realize it isn’t a good fit after all. Or you find there isn’t any room to grow. Or they only like to party and you can’t do that all the time.
Chose your shoes and your relationships carefully. It is OK to be cautious on the front end and it is definitely OK to think it over if the relationship doesn’t seem to be a good fit. Others may try to warn you if it is obvious. And if that is what you hear, take heed. Every relationship takes time and energy. And not every relationship we find ourselves in is a good fit. That’s ok. In life there are many opportunities for healthy friendships but sometimes it takes time – trial and error, like trying on shoes at the shoe store.
The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray. [Proverbs 12:26 NIV]
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity. [Proverbs 17:17 NIV]
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. [Proverbs 18:24 NIV]
Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses. [Proverbs 27:6 NIV]
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice. [Proverbs 27:9 NIV]
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. [John 15:12-14 NIV]
I pray the relationships you’re in help you grow and remind you that you are His treasure!
On the way,