I don't have many intimate friends. It's not that I don't have opportunities to cultivate friendships. The wives of my husband's married friends and the moms in my community are wonderful women. The other mothers at my daughter's school are fantastic as well and welcomed me into their community from day one. Many women that I've known since childhood are women I still catch up with on occasion. I love and appreciate these women for their roles in my life. I would extend a helping hand or a listening ear to any of them. I go shopping, share lunch, and swap stories, but it often ends there. I don't have many, but I'm thankful for my ability to invest time and love into my small circle of true confidants.
Friendships are tough. Finding someone who gets you- your values, weaknesses, quirkiness, shaded past- is hard! Finding someone you can respect for who she is can be equally difficult. Factor in God's timing, and conceiving a true friendship is almost as much a miracle as conceiving a baby! Once a true friend is found, intimacy in that friendship is a lot like intimacy in marriage. It is a two-way street built on grounds free from selfishness, condemnation, or jealousy. Should any of those factors sneak into a relationship, it will never be the same. An intimate friendship cannot exist unless both women respect, trust, and appreciate each other.
Now, that is not to say for a second that we are not allowed to disagree or disapprove of the actions of our friends. In fact, friendship relies on respectfully spoken disapproval to some degree. A woman has to be willing to nudge a wacky friend back into sane mind and at the same time be open to being nudged out of craziness herself. An intimate friend is one whose values are respected so much that her opinion of your decisions can be trusted and considered defenselessly.
If this posts makes choosing friends sound like choosing a spouse- it should! However, unlike a spouse, I believe that God places friends in our lives, and sometimes He leads them away or changes the dynamics of a friendship according to His will. Your friends will influence your personality, your marriage, your finances, your CHILDREN. Heaven knows we should choose wisely, thinking with our minds and our prayers more than our emotions.