Friendships are very important. Like any relationship, they need to be nurtured. Here are six things that you can do to be a good friend to others.
- Help out when you can. There’s so much going on in our own lives that sometimes we forget about other people. However, the Bible instructs us to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13.) Take a moment to help friends when they’re in need.
- Demonstrate active listening. Sometimes all a friend needs is a listening ear. The next time that she has some exciting news, take a minute to listen to her and share in her excitement. Likewise, if she’s going through some turmoil in her life, take a minute to give her an empathetic ear. You don’t always have to know exactly what to say because just knowing that someone cares enough to listen is often helpful for someone who is hurting. Also, remember that if you ask The Holy Spirit, He will give you the right words to speak.
- Get help from adults when necessary. If a friend is involved in destructive behavior or needs more help than you’re equipped to provide, seek help from a trusted adult as quickly as possible. Let your friend know that you plan to get help so that she doesn’t feel betrayed, but don’t let her talk you out of confiding in a trusted adult. Although she may be a little upset at first, eventually she’ll appreciate that you loved him/her enough to get help.
- Try not to offend your friends. Remember to demonstrate love in every interaction even if you don’t see eye to eye with one another. It’s possible to agree to disagree. If your friend doesn’t agree with you, be slow to take offense. Instead, pray that God will offer discernment in the situation. You never know what God will reveal to BOTH of you!
- Show respect for your friendships. Make sure that you foster a sense of respect and loyalty for your friends. Gossiping about a friend is never cool and neither is telling the secrets that your friends have entrusted to you (unless they’re hurting themselves or others and you’re seeking adult guidance). Once you betray a friend, sometimes its hard to repair the friendship!
- Include your friends in your prayers! God ALWAYS knows what’s best for us and putting situations in His hands never fails.
What do you think are the most important qualities in a friend?