(This post first appeared on InspireAFire.com )
Everyone needs a Monketeer friend. Do you have yours?
Do you even know what I’m talking about?
You’ve no doubt heard of a Musketeer and even a Monkee. But a Monketeer?
Musketeers—All for One and One for All
Like D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis standing side by side proclaiming, “All for one and one for all,” if you have a Musketeer you have a faithful I’m-there-for-you-whenever-you-need-me friend.
You’ve found someone who sticks closer than a brother, loves at all times, and will speak the truth in love even if it hurts (Proverbs 18:24; 17:17, Ephesians 4:15-16). Even in the middle of the night, they won’t screen your calls, block your texts, or lock you out of their house.
We need Musketeers in our life. They help us grow strong in the Lord and in life.
Monkees—People Say We Monkey Around
If you have a Monkee in your life, you have a goofball, keeping-life-fun friend. From time to time you may lock arms and step leg over leg together like Micky, Michael, Peter, and Davy singing, “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees! And people say we monkey around.”
Where Musketeers dedicate themselves to standing strong together, Monkees dedicate themselves to having fun together.
They believe God when He says a cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22).
Monkee friends are important because life is serious enough.
A Monketeer—One for All and All for Fun
A Monketeer is that rare and wonderful blend of a Musketeer and a Monkee—a goofball friend who will both soldier and dance through life with you.
They’re not just wise counselors, they’re also wisecracks.
They recognize that laughing through life together as we surrender to God is one of the greatest ways we bring Him glory (Psalm 34:3; Revelation 4:11).
Five Ways to Find a Monketeer
Three writer friends and I shared a condo at a writers conference, which transformed into a close friendship before we even got there. Our pre-conference group texts built a special friendship as we prayed for each other and shared silly GIFs.
We started calling ourselves the Four Musketeers but realized we acted more like Monkees. Writerly inspiration struck and we became the Monketeers.
Our conference has long since passed, but daily texts still fly between us. When my family suffered a traumatic experience recently, they rallied around me. They covered my family in prayers, showered me with love, and, yes, even made me laugh.
But you don’t have to go to a conference to find a Monketeer, although it’s not a bad idea.
Use these five suggestions to help you develop special lifetime friends.
God created us, and He alone knows best what we need and who we need in our lives.
Pray and ask God to bring you friends who will not only point you to God and stand strong with you through the fiercest storms, but will also help you laugh in the midst of them.
2. Go Where They Are
As you pray, go where God leads.
- Attend church, Bible study, or Christian groups
- Visit organizations that sponsor or promote activities and hobbies you love
- Connect with like-minded groups online
If your ability to get out is limited, be creative. Invite them in. Or reach out by phone or online. (Remember to use wisdom whenever connecting with strangers.)
3. Watch and See How They Interact
As you meet people, watch and see how they interact with others and respond to life.
Do they respond with honesty and a desire to glorify God? Do they empathize you’re your pain and point you to God’s Word for hope? Do they face life with both faith and laughter?
If they build you up in the Lord and make you laugh, you’ve found a Monketeer.
4. Extend A Hand of Friendship
Once you’ve identified a potential Monketeer friend, reach out to them.
Don’t let shyness or fears of awkwardness hold you back. They may be wishing they had a friend like you in their life.
Friendships take work, but they’re worth it.
5. Let Go of Expectations and Enjoy
As you extend a hand of friendship, let go of expectations and simply enjoy the journey.
Be the kind of friend you’d like to have. But don’t require anything in return. Let others be who they are and see if a friendship develops.
Keep reaching out. But don’t be a stalker.
We never really know what people are going through, so if we only reach out once and then give up, we may miss out on a golden friendship.
Perhaps they’re not responding like you’d hoped because their life is falling apart. Or maybe their life is finally falling into place, and they’re crazy busy.
Either way, your kindness has ministered to them. You’ve helped them laugh when all they’ve wanted to do is cry or fall into bed exhausted.
When the time is right, they may lean on and laugh with you, and you’ll enjoy a deep friendship because you were there for them.
Or maybe nothing will happen.
Either way, you’ve blessed another person without expecting to receive anything. God will honor this.
Keep praying, extending, and trusting God.
God Bless the Monketeers
I’m grateful God has blessed me with many amazing Monketeer friends to lean on for prayer, friendship, and encouragement.
Some are as close as next door, and others live across the globe.
Some have known me since before I was old enough to drive. Others are just beginning to discover the blessed mess I am.
But all these friendships have one thing in common: Intentionality.
I set out to be a friend to them because I wanted them in my life.
They may not have known if they wanted me in their life yet, but eventually, they did.
Not every friendship attempt in my life has gelled for one reason or another, but I’m thankful for the ones that did.
Everyone needs a Monketeer.
Perhaps more than one.