Christian friendships are important. We are social creatures. We need interaction with others to survive both as Christians and human beings.
However, it can be a challenge to create and keep successful friendships. Sometimes we disagree, and those disagreements can end friendships. For this reason, we must build and nurture our friendships so they remain healthy and long-lasting.
What Is The True Meaning Of Friendship
Friendship is a broad term that can refer to a relationship between two people or an alliance between two countries. For this article, friendship means developing a relationship based on mutual interests with someone you like and enjoy spending time with.
What Does The Bible Say About Friendship
Friendship is a heavily discussed topic in the Bible. For example, John 15:12-15 tells us we should love each other as God loves us. Additionally, Proverbs 17:17 tells us friends always love no matter what. The basis of friendship is love. To create true friendships, we should model God’s love in our friendships.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us iron sharpens iron, just like friends can sharpen each other. In other words, friends challenge and push each other to grow.
Lastly, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us that two are better than one. If one person falls, the other friend will lift them up. No one can make it through life alone. If you do not have someone to lean on, you will find it hard to get back up every time life throws you curveballs.
The Bible understands the true value of building Christian friendships. Friendships provide joy, comfort, emotional support during trying times, and much more.
Tips For Making And Keeping Christian Friendships
Building friendships with new people is hard. Maintaining friendships is even harder, especially after you’ve encountered adversity. Use these 10 tips to help you create and sustain your Christian friendships.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make The First Move
If you think you and another person may make good friends, do not be afraid to make the first move. Say hello or ask them how they are doing.
Make them a batch of cookies. They may ask you for the recipe. You can also invite them to lunch or participate in activities you think you both like.
Attend Faith-Based Events
There’s no better place to find Christian friends than at church events. I am not talking about simply attending church on Sunday. Go to Bible study, women’s or men’s group. Attend youth groups or participate in bake sales or the weekly soup kitchen. All these events can expose you to more people who may be the perfect friends.
The Golden Rule
Mathew 7: 12 says that we should do unto others as we want them to do unto us. The golden rule is about treating others like we want to be treated. In other words, we should be the friend we want and need. We should show our friends the kindness, respect, and love we want.
Safe Spaces Matter
Safe spaces help friendships bloom. When a person feels safe, they feel vulnerable enough to disclose what really affects them. They can disclose their dreams, fears, and traumas without worrying it will be weaponized against them in an argument or shared with others who are not their friends.
Remember, it’s hard to revive a friendship when a safe space has been violated. So make sure you maintain safe spaces in your friendships.
Weekly And Monthly Check-Ins
Life gets busy, and it can be hard to neglect your friendships. Check on your friends at least once a week or a few times a month. Even if it is just a text or a phone call, talk to them to make sure they are ok. It’s easy to miss the signs and fall for a general response. Sometimes we say we are ok, but we don’t really mean it.
You can also plan weekly or monthly events for your friends, like taco or pizza nights. You can also take quarterly or yearly trips together. These events will help you schedule a time to meet with your friends, even when life gets busy.
Give As Much As You Receive
Friendships are not one-sided. You must give as much as you receive to create a healthy friendship. This creates balance in your friendship.
No one wants to be taken advantage of or have to compromise all the time. Eventually, the person will get tired of this behavior, and you may end up losing a great friend.
Remember, be the kind of friend you want. This includes giving as much as you receive in your friendships.
Boundaries are essential to every relationship. Friendships are no different. Setting boundaries helps you set the tone for the friendship.
You let your friend know what you are and are not willing to accept. You also let them know about the consequences of crossing boundaries.
Talk It Out
When you have arguments, talk about them. You do not have to talk about them on the same day. You may need time to reflect on the events that occurred. But you must address conflict instead of acting like it never happened.
The longer you run away from conflict, the more cracks will be in the foundation of your friendship. Over time feelings of anger or resentment may build, leading to the end of the friendship.
Additionally, listen to your friend when they are discussing their feelings. Do not start formulating a response while they are still talking. You will miss important information if you are trying to prove why the other person is wrong.
Apologize And Forgive
If your actions hurt your friend, apologize. Saying sorry can be difficult because it means admitting you were wrong. However, everyone has been wrong about something. It is ok to say sorry.
Additionally, be specific when you are apologizing. Don’t just say sorry. Acknowledge your friend’s feelings by saying the action or behavior you are sorry for.
When your friend apologizes to you, forgive them. It may take some time for you to forgive them, but make an effort to forgive them. Forgiveness helps you move on and creates room to heal your broken friendship.
Friendship requires work, but they are so worth it. Friendships can decrease stress, increase happiness, and help you navigate difficult times. Use these tips to make and maintain long-lasting Christian friendships.