Robin Dunbar, a professor at Oxford University, did a study on how many friends we can really have. How many friends can your brain actually handle? He found out that you can only handle about 150 friends in your life. That is all you can take. There will be three to five really close intimate friends and around 15 people you really care about. You will also have about 50 people that you call friends. This does not mean you do not say hi to somebody you recognize at the grocery store, but as far as defining your friendships, it begins with three to five. Think about the TV shows that involve close friendships and relationships, such as Andy Griffith, Friends, Seinfeld, or The Office. All of these shows begin with three to five friends.
When John says to love one another, realize that you will have a different kind of love for different people. Here are the facts: I love my kids more than I love your kids. I also love my wife more than I love other people’s wives. That’s a good thing, right? There is a difference in how you love people and that is okay.
God calls us on a mission to be love here on earth. But in order to do so, you must have the love of Christ. How you love your family and spend time with them is part of your mission. There is nothing wrong with staying busy with your job or keeping your children in extracurricular activities. Just make sure you understand your mission is to love others more than your job. Understand that it is your responsibility to raise your children, not the soccer coach’s. If you are a stay-at-home mom, spending all of your time with your small children, do not feel bad about not going on a mission trip this year. You are on a mission every day. You are raising up the next generation.
Spend time with your close relationships, the three to five, or the fifteen that really matter. Take care of your relationships. We can all get too busy, but God calls us to love one another and we can start with the people closest to us.