Friendship Series #6: Friendship Requires Spontaneous Care

Try telling your spouse that you are going to show affection today at 7pm, and you’ll add an extra dose of care on Friday with some amount of kindness on Sunday afternoon. Then, even consider going the extra mile, as part of your plan to love your spouse and fulfill the Biblical requirement that God has placed on you, and within the week you will find yourself in an uncomfortable position – because no one who is in a meaningful relationship wants or gives love and care that is pre-determined on a scheduled calendar. Everyone wants to be cared for in the moment, and we all desire there to be an irregularity, but consistency, in the care that is shown. We all want to receive love and care that does not feel like a burden, but as a delight. Not only is that the desire of every person, but it is also the best way to care for a person—by showing that care doesn’t always need to be put on the calendar…it can be and should be spontaneous.

Spontaneous Care is love, care, and affection that is shown to another person that was not part of a regular plan or schedule that you have. This type of care does not replace the regular love and care that is required for a friendship, but it is spontaneous in that it looks for opportunities to show love because the person is already in their heart and mind. It is the husband who randomly brings home flowers. It is the friend who sends a word of encouragement for no apparent reason. It is the person who brings someone’s favorite coffee drink just because they wanted to. It is love and care simply expressed because you can, and you want to.

Reasons That Spontaneous Care is Good

Before we can agree that we should show care that is not so regimented, it should be understood why this type of love is good. I think that there are three reasons. First, when spontaneous care happens it is a better indication that the love being shown is genuine and not being done out of a sense of duty. Duty is not a bad thing, but that is not where relationships can exist before they grow stale.

Second, spontaneous care is good because it allows the love that is shown to be flexible. If there is only planed love and care, then, when situations arise where a person needs love and care, everyone involved will struggle with worshiping the schedules that they have and not the goal of showing love.

Lastly, spontaneous care is good because it is a demonstration of love that will be received with joy and thankfulness for the relationship that is shared. This gives the recipient of your care the warmth of knowing that they are special, that they matter, and that your love is a reflection of God’s goodness through you. Spontaneous care let’s your friend, spouse, acquaintance, know that they are cared for by others, you become the vehicle for the feeling of care and love that ultimately comes from the heart of God inside you. God’s love is demonstrated to them as an expression of kindness and love and through your spontaneous caring for them.

Why we don’t like to show Spontaneous Care

There may be a lot a reasons that could be listed here, but the biggest two that come to mind are our schedules and the fact that we tend to be focused on ourselves and not on others in our minds. When we have to change our schedule and show love for someone that is not on the agenda, that makes life hard for us. We don’t want to give up what we have in order to show that kind of love, we want to keep our plans nice and neat.

Secondly, showing spontaneous care means we will have to be thinking about someone else. It is so easy to go about life thinking about ourselves and that is it. When you are caught up in your mind and in only your desires, then it is hard to show love for others – but showing spontaneous, unplanned love is even harder.

How Christ Shows Spontaneous Care

Imagine how different life would be for you if you had to schedule time to pray. You had to make an appointment at the local church, come with your list of issues, and you had a small window to talk to Christ about what you needed. Christ is the model of showing spontaneous care for us since He is always ready and able to show us the love and the care that we need. You don’t need an appointment, He is always looking out for you, and He will be ready to serve at the drop of a hat. He sets for us the model of what it looks like to show someone spontaneous care.

How to Grow in Spontaneous Care

One of the best ways that you can grow is simply by putting all sorts of reminders in your day to show love and think about the person you are trying to grow in care for. There are some who do a great job and showing care on the fly, and there are some of us that need to grow in it. By placing some tangible reminders in our life this will help.

Another way is to pray for that person on a daily basis and ask that God allow you to show love and care. By confessing to God that you are weak in showing care, that is not just put on the agenda, He will grant you the grace and the power that you need to be the kind of friend that He is calling you to be.

Lastly, you need to change your thinking about this topic. Simply put, if you do not change what it is you think and value about this, then you are not going to grow in this area. You must see it as valuable to show love and care this way. You must change how you think about showing care, and your calendar. You must choose to believe that it is valuable, and choose to make showing spontaneous care a priority in your life.

Joshua M. GreinerJoshua M. Greiner
Josh has been on staff with Faith since 2010. He graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Political Science (2008) and from Faith Bible Seminary with a MDiv (2013), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a ThM in Biblical Counseling (2017) and is pursuing a PhD in Counseling from SBTS as well. He serves as the Pastor of Faith West Ministries, the Chaplin of the West Lafayette Fire Department, an instructor with Faith Bible Seminary, and a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He is married to his wife Shana, and they have four children together.