What do you do when you are always the one initiating things and are never pursued yourself
Answered by Caitlin Lieder
Initiating is tough because it is vulnerable. You are putting yourself out there with the possibility of someone saying no, not to mention you are making plans that may not be to the liking of everyone around you. It’s a huge step of faith in your relationships that tests your fear of rejection and failure.
My husband and I have secretly referred to ourselves as the Initiators because we are often in a position of initiating and pursuing. Sometimes it feels as if we are the only ones initiating and we wonder if it’s because our friends don’t really like us and we’re pushing the friendship. After moving around and having to be the Initiators over and over again, I find that it isn’t always the case.
I think it can depend on the circumstance and the friend. Do your friends maybe feel uncomfortable having people over but they like being at yours? Then keep initiating. Or maybe you are just quick to initiate before anyone else thinks of something. What would happen if you step back and give some space. Would someone else initiate? Maybe they just aren’t brave enough or able to think of ideas. We are currently in a place where we have four wild, young children and it’s just easier to do everything in our house so we almost always initiate; it can be intimidating for others to invite over a family of 6, so we try to walk with them in understanding and host people here.
I have also had instances where I have been hurt because our friends never invited us over. I finally surrendered that hurt because it was unhelpful for my heart. I was becoming bitter and struggling. When I pulled back, our friendship still was okay, and we continued seeing each other in church-related activities. I repented of my bitterness and took my own temptation away by stepping away from that cycle of not getting invited, becoming bitter, and sinning in my heart and words against them.
I encourage you to step back and evaluate your friendships and the initiation that is going on. Think through their circumstances, your circumstances, and your friendships. Maybe you need to step away from a friend, maybe just keep on initiating and taking the lead. Galatians encourages us to not grow weary in doing good. This may be your season of good (and it may last until your last breath), but do not grow weary. In time, you will reap the benefits of deeper friendships and God’s kindness shining through your hospitality and initiation!