“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
After discovering my true identity with God, I committed to setting healthy boundaries by removing myself from toxic relationships. The truth was, if I wanted something better, I needed to establish exactly what that looked like because continuing down the path I was on made no sense. For change to happen, I needed to understand what healthy friends looked like.
Once I made that simple decision to set boundaries and followed through on removing bad influences, it cleared space, time and mental weariness from the atmosphere. What I didn’t realize was the strange chasm I would encounter for I had grown accustomed to chaos. This made the stillness feel uncomfortable and unnatural!
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Deep connection has always been very important to me but if I wanted to find (and foster) good relationships, it was important to press into the discomfort of being alone (for a season). I needed to truly search for God’s definition of what a good friend is. Only then would I have the power walk in the fullness of those qualities and only then would I be able to attract exceptional people into my life.
That season of loneliness actually turned out to be one of my greatest blessings! In the quiet and stillness, Jesus never left or forsook me. He comforted my heart and highlighted (through the scriptures), areas of wounding. This extra time gave me the opportunity to work with His spirit and release everything taking me down. In the silence, God brought my feet to higher ground.
He broke the co-dependency of leaning on others for sustenance and value. It gave me the confidence to pursue people who cherished my giftings and personality. No longer did I have to sell myself short to pass the time in the presence of others. After soaking in the presence of The One who calls me His Beloved…my aching heart was full. I was ready to love and be loved by the right people.
I’m praying you also discover the kindness of your Savior. Yes, Jesus died to set you free from eternal misery, but did you also know He also died to give you sweet company as you journey through life? He wants you to connect with others in a healthy, meaningful way!
I hope these tips will help you develop into the kind of friend others eagerly pursue:
- Be okay with being alone; let God speak in the stillness.
-He will show you your part in attracting the wrong kind of friends
-He will develop your confidence so you are able to make friend choices based on security, not insecurity.
-Allow him to break off your co-dependency with others so you can be dependent upon Him.
2. Choose Quality over Quantity.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
3. Offer the qualities you want to see in a friend:
4. Pay attention to what matters to her.
-Figure out her love language.
-Suggest activities she enjoys
5. Be supportive and positive.
-Think of yourself as her cheerleader, always reminding of her strength, gifts and higher purpose.
6. Be sensitive to what is going on with her.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
7. Check in regularly; this must fit in with your lifestyle, not adjusted to unrestrained neediness.
-Let her know you’re thinking of her; if you are busy, this does not have to be a phone call or a visit. It can be a text or thoughtful card.
8. Add value to her life.
-Be supportive in ways that matter to her specifically.
9. Respect her boundaries.
-Respect her time/schedule/constraints
-If she is allergic to cat hair, don’t ask her to cat sit
10. Be aware there is a time to listen and a time to talk.
-Pay attention to her unspoken needs and try your best to meet them.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
11. Be a safe space of honesty and accountability.
-Commit to not judging others as this is the invisible barrier to deep intimacy.