If you have been blessed with authentic biblical friendship, you know it is a beautiful gift of connection and safety. True biblical friendship adds comfort, love, and truth to our lives. It nourishes the soil of our souls so that when God’s Word takes root, it grows.
Relationships either add to or deplete the soil of our lives. Biblical friendship is one that encourages growth and is filled with love and respect. Discerning connections in relationships can be hard, especially if we have been hurt in past friendships.
We may put up walls and find it difficult to confide in others. Or we unknowingly allow friendships that aren’t healthy for us to begin to develop, and when hidden motives emerge, they can cause deep soul hurts.
But there is great news, Treasured One! We can look to God’s Word to reveal to us what biblical friendship looks like. We know he wants us to grow into the women he created us to be. And he uses friendship and fellowship to nourish the seeds he plants in our hearts.
It is for this reason we must be wise about those we choose to walk hand in hand with because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Unhealthy relationships can leave us feeling depleted, robing the nutrients from our soil.
Biblical friendship matters. You matter.
The Words of Jesus Tell Us What Biblical Friendship Looks Like
“’This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.’”—John 15:12-15
Biblical friendship is not based on power and authority. The authenticity of this beautiful gift allows you to confide in each other, knowing and trusting that the exchange of words is given to build up and encourage, never to tear down.
The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, and this includes truth about biblical friendship. Let’s pay attention when he speaks to our hearts about those we divinely connect with in each season of our lives.
5 Attributes of a Biblical Friendship
1) Biblical Friendship Is Rooted in Christ
“’I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.’”—Matthew 18:19-20
The bedrock of biblical friendship is the shared hope you have in Jesus. Jesus didn’t just teach those he considered friends—he also ate with, walked with, and prayed for them. There is power released when we take the time to gather in Jesus’s name.
2) Biblical Friendship Has a Heart to Encourage
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”—1 Thessalonians 5:11
There seem to be countless seasons in our lives. Seasons of great joy and seasons of sorrow. Every season needs encouragement—it’s just a matter of who needs it and who will give it. You may be the encourager this year and the one who needs encouragement next year. The joy of a biblical friendship is that the river of encouragement flows both ways.
3) Biblical Friendship Has a Framework of Forgiveness
“’Do to others as you would like them to do to you.’”—Luke 6:31
We can enter friendships with expectations. But what would it look like if we were to connect within the framework of forgiveness instead? Biblical friendship mirrors this framework. This framework helps us set our expectations aside and simply treat others the way we want to be treated.
4) Biblical Friendship Gives Wise Counsel
“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.”—Proverbs 11:14
When we are open to hearing the wise counsel of a friend—words that point us to biblical truth—safety surrounds us. That safety nourishes us and helps us become the women God created us to be. Biblical friendship goes hand in hand with wise counsel.
5) Biblical Friendship Is Not Selfish
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”—Philippians 2:3-4
Biblical friendship looks out for the interests of others. We all likely have a friend who can drain us emotionally. It may be time to begin placing boundaries around this relationship and prayerfully ask God to place a tribe of women in your life who leave you feeling encouraged, hopeful, and alive!
Biblical Friendship | Using Discernment
When we look at the words and actions of Jesus as our guide for nourishing biblical friendships, we see how he loved everyone, yet did not trust everyone. There is a difference. Trust is something that goes beyond the surface and is earned. It takes time to develop.
We must take our emotions, thoughts, desires, and worries and lay them at the feet of Jesus, asking him to guide our steps. He has a plan for our friendships, and it is to help both involved take bold, brave steps of faith that lead to your respective purposes.
We can trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance when it comes to discerning biblical friendships. Jesus knows the intentions of everyone. Therefore, when we allow him to be the gatekeeper of our hearts, we can be decisive women who live confidently and love unconditionally.
“But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.”—John 2:24-25
A biblical friendship is one of like-mindedness that is rooted in Christ.
A biblical friendship allows room for accountability and encouragement from both sides.
- “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”—Proverbs 27:6
- “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”—Proverbs 27:17
A true friend is one with whom you are comfortable being yourself. You can confide in them and completely trust that the words they say are intended to build you up. There is a shared heart of forgiveness and encouragement.
It has been said that if you can count the number of true friends you have on one hand, you are blessed. Are you in need of a tribe of women who can speak encouraging words into your life? Or perhaps there is a brave heart in need of hearing wise counsel from you.
Check out our Treasured Tribe HERE! Treasured Tribe is a private Facebook group where we gain strength by leaning into Jesus and pushing back the insecurities of our past—together.
We aren’t meant to do this faith journey alone. Let’s join together in the Word of God and live free!