This is one that I have been working on for a very long time:
1 Samuel 16:7 states, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature;…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
My family laughingly told me that the next guy that I would be marrying would be pale as a ghost, bald and short (he actually is a little shorter than I). Because by that time, I would have figured out that I needed to do as this scripture states. I did my best to take my time and be a friend first.
As a matter of fact, 80% of most people do not marry the first person that they fall in love with. Wow! What a ratio. So, would it not be a better thing to have a large range of friends? Take the time to get to know each other before stepping into the relationship level?
I know that in the back of my mind for a long time, I would size up a guy friend and begin thinking about what it would be like to be married to him(remember, that was in the back of my mind, not something that I did consciously). Of course, this was even before the dating became serious.
When I was told “Sit back and enjoy the ride.” I was shocked. What???? I am not to know where I am going? What is going to happen? I do not get some insight so that I can be prepared? What is wrong with this picture??? The answer came: “Be a friend first, then I will let you know what to do.”
From that point on, I decided to follow that advice. I have had more fun now than ever before! I have the opportunity to think of my male friends and get to really know them. I spend enough time with them to find who they really could be with and help guide them to someone they would be happy with.
I am finding that I am happy when I know that my friends are happy-even if it is not specifically with me. I also find that because I am truly looking out for the joy in the hearts of my friends, that they are doing the same for me.
I admit, when I divorced my first time, I felt alone and empty. I had friends who knew me in the ward I was in, but when I became divorced, I was shunned by most of them. It felt that if they talked to me, they would get the “Divorce Disease”. I went to Relief Society and felt that there was a bubble surrounding me that no one wanted to break through just to talk with me.
This was when I began going to the dances. I began to make friends. We became a group that had no judgments, but welcomed all. Each week, we grew by ones and twos. Our group became strong and supported each other. We started going to activities outside of the dances, we went to Denny’s for after the dances just to talk, and we met at different firesides and supported each other when someone gave the talk. I had friends. Good friends.
Then they started to break off and get married some now have babies. This is a good thing for them, but that meant that I needed to open myself to new people and develop new friendships.
Now, I have a cycle (yes, cycle, not circle-because a circle can close, but a cycle can always be changing) of friends and I am glad that I have them. May you have a strong cycle of friends and if not, you can always join mine!