Friendships are such a blessing and wow is it important to have good friends in our lives.
I remember going to a camp in high school and a guy did an illustration of what it means to have a good friend vs a bad friend. He stood on a chair and he said, “When you are friends with someone that doesn’t build you up, it looks a lot like this…” as he proceeded to try to pull his friend up from the ground onto the chair he was standing on. As he was doing this, the “friend” was pulling him too. It only led to him falling on the ground off of the chair. That stuck with me for a long time. I still sometimes think about it. Are the friends that I have around me pulling me down? Am I lifting them up? It’s important to surround yourself around others who challenge you, encourage you, and keep Christ the center. But it is also equally important that you too, are building your friends up and encouraging them.
So here are a few of the questions that were sent in:
Q1. How can you be a good friend?
A1. Honestly, I think all of us are in the process of learning. But- scriptures give us excellent guidelines on how to be a good friend. Listen, comfort, laugh, cry, encourage, and love your friends. I have been learning that sometimes there are friends that aren’t necessarily the ones you confide in, but they confide in you…instead of getting irritated with that, be like Jesus to them. Love them and be there for them.
Q2. How do you approach a friend about sinful patterns in their lives and not offend them?
A2. Honestly I have struggled with this in the past. I have been too blunt and been hurtful. It takes a lot of grace and patience. Be prayerful but never rub it in their face that you “prayed and felt God say…” because God doesn’t speak in the words of shame, and sometimes that’s how that can come across. Ask them questions. Ask them what they’re feeling and why they think they feel that way? Ask them what they would like to see for their future and how they’re going to get there? Be more intentional on hearing them out rather than preaching at them. It takes so much patience and a whole lot of grace to first seek to understand rather than correct. A lot of the times through that time of reflection they will see what is wrong/off about what they are doing.
Q3. How do you balance your friendships and your significant other?
A3. This is usually more difficult in the beginning of relationships. But there are still challenges that can rise up during the dating, engagement, and marriage stages. Luke and I both make it a goal of ours to spend quality time with each other and quality time with our friends and guy friends/ girl friends. When you get engaged (and I hear when you get married too) a lot of the times friends can get a little distant, usually out of respect for the two of you. But Luke and I have tried to be consistent with our friends.
Q4. How do you stay connected with your long distant friends?
A4. I have never struggled with this. I think one of my gifts from God is staying connected with people! haha I love reaching out to others and staying in touch. Some of my friends are not great at keeping in touch because they don’t really use their phones, and that can be more difficult. But it’s usually always the same when we are finally face to face. I would just say be intentional with reaching out and staying connected, whether thats a phone call, texting, face-timing, or even sending letters or care packages!
Q5. How do you handle toxic friendships?
A5. Honestly- this is difficult for anyone/ everyone. I think that there are some friends that you can love from a distance. You have to protect yourself and protect them at times. We still are called to love them but it doesn’t mean we have to have them be part of our every day life. Be cautious and protect each other’s hearts. It doesn’t mean there has to be a big blow up, but just protect each other.
Q6. Have you ever “broken up” with a friend or had a close friendship end?
A6. I have had a couple of friendships from when I was growing up that had a bit of drama because of school stuff (boys, gossip, ya know high school stuff). But actually as we have grown to be adults we have reconnected, communicated like adults and been healthier in our communication. One of my friends actually said something along these lines, during a conversation we had about christian friendships that may have had a falling out, “We are serving the same God. We will both see each other in heaven, and I think it’s good that we have peace here before we get to heaven too.” That really ministered to me in a lot of ways as we both fought against the enemy and chose to fight for peace. So, I feel like that could be helpful for someone out there who may be reading this. 🙂
Q7. Did your friendships change as your relationship got more serious with Luke?
A7. Well since we have been dating since high school most of our friendships we made together. So not a whole lot changed. Moving and graduating changed our friendships more than our relationship did, I think.
I am excited to start this friendship series! There will be so many more fun friendship blogs to come. If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover, I would be happy to! 🙂
Thanks for reading,