If you're a public school kid, you've got automatic friends in your grade or your classroom. Homeschooling kids have co-ops and groups. And of course, if you're fortunate (and I was), you have neighbors who are close to your own age and siblings running around everywhere. The same is true in higher education- I lived in a dorm during college- an insta-community!
|Completely unrelated photographs of horses. Unrelated, but lovely, yes?|
Of course, all of that changed drastically when I graduated and got married.
It's hard to make friendships as an adult.
In my case, I moved to a new town, my friends were scattered throughout the country (and the world!) and while I was pretty well wrapped up in my brand new hubby, I became very lonely.
We need community. We've been designed for interactions with other human beings- and human beings other than our spouses, too. But when you're in a new place, a new situation, a new phase of life... well, that community is hard to come by.
Of course, if you're working outside the home, you will probably be able to make some friendships in your workplace, and that will certainly help. But really (and I don't know about you, but I feel this way), if you've spent all day with someone at work, you may not want to spend your evenings with them. It's nice to get away sometimes, you know?
And if you're not working outside the home- all the more opportunity for you to feel isolated and alone.
So where are you to find community?
One of the very first things I would suggest a newly married couple to do is this- find a church.
Find a church where you feel welcome, a church where you can be yourselves. A church where you can find a family. And get involved. Volunteer to bring cookies, to serve in the nursery, to shake hands. Introduce yourself. Invite people to join you for lunch after the service.
The biggest mistake of our first several months of marriage was thinking that we didn't need to find a church family. Going to services at our Camp on Sundays was convenient, and who could really ask for more? And we missed out, for months, on building friendships. We knew our Camp family- the people with whom we work- but besides that... we pretty were isolated.
It wasn't until Zeke and I found our church home that we finally began to build true friendships, to form a community.