Ask an Officer

Making Friends is Hard. Got Any Advice?

Ask an officer anything. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith.
Ask an Officer

“Making friends is really hard for me. Period. Got any advice?”

Making friends is really hard. Period. Even the people who seem to have 100 friends likely feel as if they don’t have loads of close friends that would have their backs, no matter what. So, what do you do?

1. Figure out what you enjoy doing when you hang out with people. Listen to music? Play video games? Binge watch the newest season of “Stranger Things”?

2. Be patient. It takes a long time to form a friendship. Ask people to hang out, then ask them again. It takes time to build.

3. Most importantly—recognize that you have so much to offer in a friendship. Each of us does. So, offer it to others and take time to build a friendship. If someone doesn’t want to take that opportunity, it’s their loss. Find another person who sees how amazing you are and try again!

Captain Loreen Hamilton
Ventura, California

“I want to have sex with my significant other so bad and I feel I can’t talk to anyone at church about it because they’ll judge me. What should I do?”

Feeling as if you are going to be judged by others should not be the focus of whether or not you participate in sexual activity. The standard by which you measure that choice should be what God says about sex—after all He created it and gave parameters on the activity.

I Thessalonians 4:3-5 (ESV) says: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God…”

I know that sounds “churchy” and old-fashioned, but there are good reasons, like unwanted pregnancy or STIs. But also, there is the rarely considered idea called emotional connection. When you have sex, it is more than just a physical act that provides pleasure and release. There is a pathway created in your brain that you can’t control that connects you to the other person. This not only causes problems when a relationship goes south (and a breakup is inevitable), but also creates issues in your next relationship.

God gave us the gift of sex for procreation, but also for a deeper connection with your life partner. Sex is not about your needs and desires, but about connecting with your spouse intimately. It’s about sharing a desire for each other within the parameters God has set. Society will tell you it’s not a big deal. Trust me—it’s a bigger deal then you realize, and I don’t want you to have to experience a consequence that could’ve been avoided.

My recommendation to you is that you prayerfully weigh the possible outcomes of your choice in order to see what you are really getting yourself into. Remember—it’s not about what others think but about what God created. It’s always more than just having sex.

Captain Jimmy Taylor
Hagerstown, MD

“…it’s not about what others think but about what God created. It’s always more than just having sex.”

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