One thing I learned very quickly after becoming a mom and being thrust into adulthood is that grownups talk about boring things! All moms seem to talk about are Brayson's sleeping habits or planning Ryleigh's birthday. It all feels like a game of waiting for the other person to stop saying her boring whine so you can jump in with your boring whine. When I walk away from hangouts like that, I kind of feel like it was a waste of time. There's a place for asking each for advice and there's probably a place for venting steam, but I want my conversations to be life-giving. And one thing I've learned about myself is that I'm just not intrinsically awesome enough to make life-giving conversations happen on their own.
First, I need to ask God to make my conversations full of richness and joy. Secondly, if I am constantly fillling myself up with truth and good things, I'm more likely to have something to contribute to a conversation. Third, if I want to help a directionless conversation become more meaningful, I should have some questions ready.
So here's a handful! I even made a free printable. Cut them out, throw em in a cup, and ask each other!
What is one of your greatest aspirations?
Tell me your story. Who are you and what are you about?
What time in history is most interesting to you? Why?
What do you do to deal with suffering?
What do you think the purpose of life is? What leads you to that perspective?
What are some songs that mean a lot to you?
What do you tend to daydream about?
[If they have tattoos]: What's the story behind it? [If not]: If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be and why?
What is one of the strongest relationships you've ever had?
What do you like about the way your parents raised you, and what would you do differently?
Are there any skills that you think you might be good at if you had the chance to try them?
I’m a [your religion here.] Is there anything you would like to know about my beliefs?
What is the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen in nature?
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve seen/tasted/heard lately? (Follow-up discussion Psalm 8, Psalm 19, Psalm 104, Job 38-42)
What is your favorite miracle that Jesus did? Why?
What are some things that tend to stoke your love for Jesus when your passion feels stale?
What do you think the difference is between childishness and childlikeness?
Is there anything that following Jesus has cost you? What have you gained? (Mark 10:29)
Are there any particular psalms that have comforted you in hard times?
Remember that listening is the most important!
And remember, these are deep questions. They will make people think, probably (hopefully!) about some things they haven't thought about in awhile, maybe never. So your friend's answers are probably going to be unpolished...and you know what? If they turn the question back to you, chances are you're going to stumble over your words and say something kind of stupid too! But that's okay. Loving others right in the middle of their imperfection is beautiful.
Side note: That picture was from my lovely time in North Africa. Conversation was valued there a lot more than it is here, and I went to bed feeling so full from hearing the stories and perspectives of new friends. Other cultures have a lot to teach us about things like this!
Here's a PDF of the conversation questions! Feel free to add your own in the comments! :)
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today