When I first gave my life to Christ, I was desperate to find godly friends.
You know what I mean: the women you see that are super close, live life together and manage to grow steadily into amazing women of faith together? Yeah, those girls.
When I first came to church, there weren’t a lot of women my age who attended. Yet, in the older women, I saw this pack of role models who just made friendship seem like a breeze.
Me, on the other hand, I was intimidated by girlfriends! It seemed like every time I would try to form a bond with another woman it would either a) not end well, b) take way more energy than it should’ve or c) cause me to become the joke of the crowd where folks would simply laugh at my imperfections. Yeah, way to be friends there.
Don’t get me wrong. Over the years, I’ve gained some solid friends that have been loyal, faithful, and loved me unconditionally, and I to them.
But once I decided to turn my life around, get rid of the drinking, smoking, etc. those friendships that I gained when I went to college ended up growing pretty distant. Our lives simply grew apart.
So, I craved friendship that would embrace my life as a Christian. I was desperate to find other women like me who were devoted to live a life of Christ, yet would still accept me for me, faults and all. My prayer was to find and keep godly friends.
And looking back now, after serving the Lord faithfully with my life for about six years now, I am so honored to say that God has answered my prayers in this category!
I’m blessed to have my own tribe of godly friends who I can say without a doubt that we’ll grow old together, raise our kids together, and serve the Lord together!
And ladies, let me tell you something: You think you may not need friends like these but oh, you do! Trust me when I say that you do!
First off, what exactly is a godly friend?
A godly friend is someone who will not only stand by your side and live life with you but will also allow God to cultivate your friendship for God’s glory.
So when I say that I was in dire need of finding women of faith to become friends with, I was not only looking for someone who could go on coffee dates, chit-chat about the latest episode of our favorite TV shows, and help pick out each others makeup. I was also looking for someone who would encourage me to become a better woman in heart, mind, body, and spirit! I was looking for a true friend!
Life gets messy. And while it may seem easier to go through the mess on your own, at some point or another, you’re gonna begin to feel weak, defeated, or just in the pits.
That’s where your godly friend comes in. Because while you’re feeling down, they will help lift you up. While you’re feeling defeated, they will remind you that you’ve already obtained the victory. And when you’re feeling stuck in the pits, they will climb right down there with you and together, will get you out of there!
If there’s one thing you can do in your adult life to enhance it, it’s to truly find and invest in 1-5 deep, meaningful friendships with other women.
And just as important as it is to trust God with your love-life, it’s equally important to trust God with your friendships too!
Based on my own personal experience, here are a few steps you can take to help you find and keep godly friends.
1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone.
When I first met my first godly friend, something inside of me just knew that we would be friends. I have no idea why… perhaps it was the Holy Spirit telling me something that I didn’t know. On the other hand, when my BFF first met me at a women’s life group, and I was sitting there quoting Jay-Z lyrics (I was still a fresh baby Christian, Y’all!) she admits that I wasn’t someone who one could just warm up to!
Eventually, because I still had it on my heart to get to know her, I invited her out to hang out and have coffee. Of course, because we’re girls, we rescheduled and rescheduled again.
But it took for us both being willing to step out of our comfort zones to say “yes” and meet each other with an open mind and heart.
Did I freak out initially that this woman would not like me? Yes. Was I afraid that the coffee date would be super awkward and lead to nothing? Yes. Did I expect her to stand me up rather than to actually meet me? Yes.
But on the other side of that fear, and my comfort zone was a three-hour long conversation. About life, Harry Potter, family, our love interests, and God. It was very refreshing.
That coffee date leads to weekly coffee dates. And this formed our friendship into what it is today.
2. Pray with Your Friends.
One thing I loved to do was go through devotionals with other women. So when I wanted to grow a friendship with a woman whom I served in a ministry with, I immediately thought that the best way to do this was to do a devotional together.
Because if I was already willing to put God first in my relationship with my friend/boyfriend/husband, then naturally I wanted to do the same thing in my friendships.
And as a godly woman, who would say no to this?
To this day, we call each other “mountaintop friend” based on a prayer we read together in the book, “The Power of a Praying Woman“. And from this devotional, we discovered a LOT of similarities while accepting a lot of our differences.
The most important part was that by praying together, we were both able to get closer to each other and really hear the heart of the other person.
After each time we met, I knew what was in my friend’s heart, and she knew what was on mine. That made us grow closer on so many levels.
Through the busy seasons, when we both got married and started to have kids, it was the prayers that kept us close. And knowing that through prayer we had gone to such a secret place with each other, it allowed us to stay open and transparent with each other to this very day.
3. Nurture and Cultivate Your Friendships.
I would be lying if I told you that godly friendships are flawless. Just because you share the love of God does not mean that you automatically become an expert at friendships. And regardless of where your faith level is when it comes to any relationship, you’re going to get out what you put in.
I have another godly friend who had a baby almost exactly at the same time that I had my son. We were pregnant partners. And because we both had no idea what we were doing, we bonded fast! Almost each of my first pregnancy experiences was shared with her. And knowing that our sons will now grow up together just really sets the bond in some Gorilla super glue.
But naturally, with both of us having babies, our weekly chats and visits grew scarce. Before we knew it, an entire season would fly by and we hadn’t even done so much as hold a conversation after church service!
Did this offend me? No. Why?
Because I knew that the friendship we had developed in the past was real. All we needed to do was nurture it and allow it to continue growing.
Sometimes its supernatural to want to hang out with your friends. And other times, it takes a bit of effort. Whenever the Lord placed her on my heart, I reached out. Whenever the Lord would place me on her heart, she would do the same. And even though we would love to hang out more often, we take it upon ourselves to make time and cultivate our friendship. Why? Because it’s important to the both of us.
Just about every new friendship I have gained in other women, I have managed to take these three steps. And by including God in the relationship, you’ll know if the friendship is worth pursuing.
Also, it’s very important to understand that you’re not going to find these deep, meaningful friendships: God is going to find them for you!
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
God is going to put the people in your life who are meant to sharpen you and to help mold you into the woman who God has called you to be.
And trust me when I say that NONE of us have it all together. But it is so reassuring when we finally all get together, and vent or rant about something, only to discover that we are not alone!
When you find godly friends, who are invested in and committed to living life with you, the energy it takes to maintain that friendship doesn’t drain you, it sustains you. You don’t compare yourself to each other or grow jealous or envious of their blessings, you celebrate with them. And most importantly, you become a godly force that stands in faith together, overcomes battles and warfare together, and can help each other stay in line with the Word of Christ!
When the tough times roll in, and my flesh grows weak, I can count on my godly friends to bring me back to Christ. I know that their encouragement and their love will remind of the deep security and love that I will always have in God.
And if that isn’t worth finding a godly friend to grow old with, then I don’t know what is.