Guest Posts Life

The Cost Of Friendship by Moe Karanja

Hi guys,

Today’s guest post is from a wonderful guy I’m blessed to know. Moe is this cool headed guy with solutions at his fingertips but beyond that, he’s a ball of fun, always willing to help and someone you can count on. I guess most importantly, he’ll be the husby to my girl bae Cory, but you’ll get to see that plus a whole lot of goofs soon on the Youtube channel.

For now, grab a coffee and enjoy his musings.

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“A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

Earlier this year, I had an honest look at the toll the last few years have had on my friendships. It was an introspection – a bare-bones, ugly and truly harsh self-assessment. My natural predisposition according to those character tests on the internet is that I’m 52% outgoing and 48% introverted. While those tests may not always be the bastions of accuracy, I feel there’s some truth in them. After all, they base their results on the real data you fill in yourself.

There’s a part of me that desires relationships that are truly fulfilling and at the same time desires a measure of sanctity for my personal space. Therein lies a conundrum; the desire to have fulfilling friendships and at the same time wanting to fiercely protect my privacy, or the illusion of it at the very least.

I stumbled on a certain truth that proves itself more real with each passing year; friendships are inconvenient. Click To Tweet

Friendships – the real ones at least, come with a cost; a cost so dear that at times they take a toll on who we are. Now this is not a lopsided diatribe on the cost of bad friendships over the years and the wreck that it turns us into. Nor is it, a somber dirge of friendships lost and a long list of what could have been. This is a reflection of a recent past filled with memories and the people that helped create them.

I have been blessed to enjoy a number of good friendships over the years. Some have been long term and some have been seasonal. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of making friends with men twice my age and with guys 10 years younger than me. The common denominator with all these, the reason why I still remember them is I learnt something from each and every single one of them.

Male bonds are built around functionality. The strongest male friendships are founded on a common bond of practically and functionality. Click To Tweet

It may sound a bit academic, but the truth is the more in common you have with another man and the more you do together, the stronger the bond. In fact, I dare say that when the time comes that the traits of commonality begin to wane and wither, then the strength of the friendship also suffers.

Bonds that were once pillars of strength turn into streams that ebb and flow with the current preoccupation that suits our excuses the most. We find every reason not to maintain what was once a mutually beneficial experience. Work, family, side hustles all of a sudden become impediments that were never there. We slowly drift apart and before we know it, deep conversations become replaced with ‘otherwise’ and other awkward Kenyanese banter meant to cover up our deep-seated embarrassment over the state of our once-flourishing friendships.

The situation is different when it comes to male – female friendships. Forces of attraction are often at play when the bonds of friendships begin to cross a certain line. Click To Tweet

The line I am alluding to is not sexual. This is because before very act itself happens, an environment was created long before you started taking your clothes off. The line I am speaking of is the one where a man begins to meet the needs of woman either intentionally or unintentionally.

When a man begins to provide emotional, psychological re-enforcement to woman, the physical union is almost inevitable. This is often how affairs and other situation-ships start. The situation is further complicated when a woman instinctually begins to receive, respond and reciprocate; which a lot of women naturally do. This creates an expectation that the needs of one another will be met on a continual basis and before you know it, uncertainty brews especially when the proper context of such a relationship is not defined.

The fact remains simple – if you don’t want to complicate a friendship with a woman, don’t do certain things for her. Don’t communicate endlessly seeking to know her heart.

It seems harsh, but honestly, a woman heart is not meant for public perusal. It’s a secret place meant for those willing to pay the price, those willing to count the cost, and those willing to pay it.

This is different if the goal is to seek a life partner. If what you seek is a truly special bond with a woman you want to spend the rest of your life, then ignore everything I’ve just said and let loose your charms and enjoy the rabbit hole that is the heart of the beloved you seek. But know this, once you’ve found her, treat her high above the others.

Do this and do it clearly. Never look at another the way you look at her. Never speak to another the way you speak to her. Ultimately, no man is an island and women do not stop being beautiful because you’ve settled down. Having made his choice, a man must the redefine all his friendships with the opposite sex and make it clear he has his numero uno, and she gets to be the priority.

On the off chance that someone in your life doesn’t understand your position, clear communication needs to be made about the nature of your stand and why it needs respecting, but then again if you have to do that, is that really a good friend anyway?

I have come to realize that the older I get, the more intentional I need to be with my friendships. In me lies a conviction to try create time and devote my resources to the worthy cause that is true friendship. This is much easier said than done.

Over the period of my introspection, I realized that I have failed in many instances to offer the very solutions that my mind readily peddles on this article. It is humbling and very frustrating to realize that I will fail again at keeping my end of the bargain. To know that despite my best efforts, I won’t always be able to be the friend that I think that I should be.

It’s quite clear that I need the saviour to be a better man and a better friend. It takes the author and finisher of our faith to get to a place where we readily sacrifice for the sake of others. It takes the saviour to walk the talk and to do it while holding the hand of another. It takes God to really see beyond the weaknesses of our friends and see them as God sees them.

My sincere prayer is that the transformation that I need to be a better friend becomes a shared experience that men will readily embrace. A bond created at the foot of the cross – the only truly experience worth sharing and living for!

 

Since I can remember, my dad called me Moe but officially Muhia Karanja is who I was named. I have come to revere the power of words. Words heal, change, mould but ultimately words create. I am a believer in Christ Jesus whom I seek to find. His words have shaped my world view. This world view is sometimes found in my poems, in my thoughts when my pen meets paper and when I lay my head to dream. Sharing beautiful words is more than my hobby, it’s slowly becoming my way of life. In this journey called life, I pray to have the chance to share many more beautiful words with many more people across many more places.

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