So where do you begin to start building this incredible community of godly friends and framily? Start with being the kind of friend you are looking to have.
Here are a few tips to cultivate the community you crave:
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 NKJV
Being a good friend requires that we get out of our own little bubbles. You know, that bubble where we only think about ourselves? It takes a little forethought, but it’s not actually that difficult. Maybe you’ve been to Starbucks with your friend a handful of times yet never paid enough attention to know what their drink of choice is. Purpose to see what is important and valuable to the people around you and commit it to memory. This will equip you to be able to love them with intention when they need it most.
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NLT
Real friends show up no matter what. True friendship- the kind that lasts through the highs and lows of every season- is a result of people choosing to simply show up no matter how messy the situation. Almost anyone can stick around when things are going well, but a real friend knows the importance of being present when things get tough. And you know what the beautiful thing is about showing up? It doesn’t require that you fix anything or even know what to say. It just means that you choose to stick around. Your people need to know that they are not alone.
BELIEVE THE BEST
“Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].” 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP
The hard truth is that in any friendship, there will be times when your feelings get hurt. The key to not letting injured feelings keep you from loving is by believing the best of them. When friendships are grounded in love and trust, a foundation is laid that enables us to bear the weight of tough situations.
Occasionally the people that love me may hurt me, but it is my choice to either spiral into hurt and despair or believe that that person’s heart is for me. Ultimately, if I believe that they love me and wouldn’t ever intentionally hurt me, I am able to endure with grace to the other side of the situation.
“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NL
Simply put, in order for something to grow, you have nourish and feed it. Friendships work in the same way except with a fun twist. Being a good friend means investing- your time, resources, emotions, and energy, but it doesn’t mean you will feel depleted. As a matter of fact, when you invest of yourself, the scriptures say that you yourself will be refreshed. That positions you to be as generous as possible with your friends knowing the Lord is replenishing and caring for you.
PRAY AND PROPHESY
“Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives- especially the ability to prophesy… But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. “ 1 Corinthians 14:1 & 3 NLT
Half of this tip is a given. When we love people, we obviously cover them in prayer. However, I want to challenge you to begin to prophesy over them as well. Don’t be intimidated by the word “prophesy.” What that looks like is simply partnering with the Lord to release words that will strengthen, encourage, and comfort. All you have to do is ask and listen. The Lord loves to convey His heart through us.
One of my favorite traditions that my friends and I have is something we do on our birthdays. When it’s someone’s birthday, we ask the Lord to give us insightful words and scriptures to speak over them that will put the wind of heavenly perspective in their sails for their coming year.
Friendship is a treasure. It’s one of the ways we reflect the heart of God here on this earth.