Oh the sweetness of friends. Especially gal pals. I do think that friendship is one of the most special gifts God gives us. We were made to be in community with one another, and whether friendships last a lifetime or for a season, they are all gifts.
Whether you’re dating, engaged, or married, having a boy in your life does bring a little bit of a different dynamic to your friendships. I want to encourage you to continue to develop and build your friendships with your girlfriends even if you might actually be around or do more things with your boy. When I started dating my hubby (he was my first boyfriend…more coming on that later on this week!), I made a really conscious effort to not neglect my friendships. I knew that nothing can or will ever replace the preciousness of my friendships with my girls. And at the end of the day, if I had broken up with my then boyfriend, my gal pals were the ones who were still going to be in my life. I didn’t want to then have to be rebuilding relationships, apologizing for things I said or did, and all that jazz.
Friendships are important to nourish and cherish through every season of your dating/married life. Besides, there are just certain things that are always more fun with your girls, no matter how much you adore your man! lol.
Because I know how sweet friendships are to me, I always want to do my best to be a good friend. So, I did a little research and picked out a few Bible verses about friendship (I made a little chart for you too! 🙂 It’s at the end of the list ) and a few ways that I think are super easy to them into practice!
10 Ways to Be a Great Gal Pal
1. Don’t talk bad about your friends (obviously), but also don’t be the one that they can talk bad about others with.
Prov 24: 28 (NKJV) ~ Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, For would you deceive with your lips?
Psalm 101: 5 (NKJV) ~ Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.
Think about it. How good of friends are you actually with someone if you’re willing to tear them down to others? Would you want them doing that to you? Basically, my rule of thumb as of late especially has been “If this would hurt my feelings if someone said this about me, then I don’t need to say it about someone else.” The the more I try to make a conscious effort to not gossip, the more obvious it becomes to me when I am and when I’m tempted to. While I do feel like I’m making progress, I’ll be the first to admit it can be hard. But the first step is to decide that you aren’t going to do it anymore.
In addition to not slamming your friends, don’t be the person who they know they can run to if they want to slam someone else. If they feel comfortable doing that around you, then think about why they feel that way. Have you too been talking about others with them?
So how can we implement this into our lives…like I said, it can be hard, but I know you can do it! Here is where I have started:
-try to keep your conversations focused on the two of you and your lives
-if someone else comes up in a negative light, try to point out something good about them and redirect the conversation back to you and your friend; don’t engage in the chatter about the other person
-if you want to make a comment about someone else, literally think before you speak. Not a life changing concept, but trust me applying it will change your life. lol.
2. Encourage them.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) ~ Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
God commands us to encourage one another, so why wouldn’t we try to be building our friends up? I don’t know many people who would be upset about receiving a compliment, so why not give them freely?! In addition, when you are encouraging your friends, I think it’s alot easier to see the positive things about them, appreciate them more, ultimately develop a better bond because you understand what is so great about them, and also I think it is harder to be jealous of friends successes or lives when you are pointing out what you love about them!
Why don’t you try
-sending an encouraging text and tell them your favorite quality
-praise them about an area where maybe you know they feel insecure
3. Be Quick to Apologize and Forgive
Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) ~ Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV) ~ Bear with each other and forgive each one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
We are all human. We are going to mess up. Chances are you and your friend will hurt each other’s feelings, irritate each other (especially if you happen to be roommates), offend each other unknowingly…it will happen. So be the first to forgive and the first to apologize. No sense in keeping things tense!
If you sense tension
-ask if you have done something wrong; don’t be defensive about your friends response- be calm and sweet
-if the tension is coming from something your friend did to you and you feel like something needs to be said, be kind and gentle. Focus on not being accusatory; instead explain to them how their actions made you feel. A mentor of mine always says that people can’t get mad at you for your feelings.
4. Invest in their lives.
Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV) ~ A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
This verse says that a friend “loves at all times.” When you love someone, you can’t help but invest in their lives. Think about it- if you are dating someone or married, you talk about everything. Their days, their likes, their dislikes, their hopes, their fears, all of it. Because you love them and care for them. So why do we sometimes neglect to do this with our friends? We should be asking them how their lives are, if there is anything we can help with or pray for, spending time with them, encouraging them. We should be investing our time and energy into their lives. It doesn’t have to be every day, all the time, but to maintain a close relationship, you have to have at least put in enough time to build a solid foundation. And then to stay friends, you have to keep building on this in the best ways that you can. I can go weeks and weeks without talking to some of my best friends. But because of the amount of time and investing that I have already done with them, we are able to pick right up where we left off when we do have the chance to keep investing in each other.
-ask a close friend about something specific to her that she has shared with you ( a struggle or stress at work, a new relationship, etc)
-check in with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and just let her know that you’re thinking about her!
5. Celebrate your differences.
1 Corinthians 12:17 (NKJV) ~ But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
For context, this verse is found in a passage where Paul is discussing spiritual gifts with the church in Corinth. Basically, he is telling them that they all have different gifts and are designed differently for different purposes for God’s kingdom. No two people are alike- no matter how similar you and your bestie are. lol. So instead of letting differences annoy or irritate you, celebrate them! Learn from each other! Find out how your bestie is so great at staying organized if you would lose your head if it wasn’t attached (personal reference…haha). Ask your friend who works in a field totally different from yours about her job! And don’t be afraid to be friends with people who you might think you have nothing in common with- I have quickly learned in the military world that friendships can happen even when you think they won’t at first if you are open to learning about others and not judging them for being different from you.
-single out one area that you are different from your bestie and tell her why you admire that about her
-next time you are around someone who you feel you might have nothing in common with, ask them a few extra questions and try to get to know them a little bit better!
6. Get to know your friends’ families if you can too!
1 Samuel 20:41 (NKJV) ~ Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have beoth sworn in the name of the Lord, saying ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
Obviously, this one isn’t always possible. I get it. But if you can, get to know your friends parents or their funny granny they talk about! My parents were always so great about letting my friends come along with us wherever whenever, and it was so fun! Not only did they then get to know my me and my brothers’ friends, but we got to develop friendships with our families there! So when your bestie’s mom comes to visit, go to dinner or grab a glass of wine with them if she invites you! If you friends have babies, love on those sweet things! If you and all your friends are married, get to know each other’s husbands too and let the hubbys become friends! I promise that you will really get to know someone so much better when you know where they come from!
The story of David and Jonathan in the Bible is a precious one. If you want to read it, turn to 1 Samuel 20 in your Bible or click here! To sum it up, they were literally besties for the resties and wanted their families to remain connected and close even when they were gone. I won’t spoil the story for you, but their friendship wasn’t easy (because of Jonathan’s father) and yet it was important to them that their families always be on good terms beacuse of how close they were.
7. Don’t be afraid to walk through hard times with them.
Galatians 6:2 (NIV) ~ Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
It is inevitable that one of you will go through something hard at one point or another. Don’t be afraid to be there for your friend. Check in with her when you feel it’s appropriate, let her know you’re praying for her, send her encouraging notes, words, verses, songs, etc. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to just tell her you’re sorry she’s going through that. Be sensitive. But don’t clam up and isolate her because you feel uncomfortable. Make her feel comfortable to open up if she needs to, but also don’t drown her in extra well-meaning care.
I think easy ways to do this are
-express how sorry you are for whatever she’s going through, let her know that you are there if she needs you and then be there if she does
-keep talking about the same amount that you normally do; if you only talk once a week, maybe send one extra text or call one extra time, but don’t all the sudden start checking in once an hour if you normally don’t unless you are certain that that is what your friends needs you to be doing
8. Let your friends into your life.
Matthew 26:36-38 (NKJV) ~ Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gathsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.
I realize that this verse is a tad um…sad. lol. But to me, it is THE BEST example of letting your friends into your lives. In His darkest, most dreaded hour, Jesus took his three closest friends and told them what was going on. So don’t be afraid to trust and be vulnerable with your friends if you truly want to be close with them and walk through life together. We were created to be in community with others, so don’t be so guarded that you block out any chance of truly experiencing this. But also, don’t feel like you need to pour out your heart to every person you meet. Notice that Jesus didn’t even take all of his disciples at this point. Just a select few. So know who you can really trust, and then don’t be afraid to trust them.
Next time a friend asks how you’re doing
-don’t respond with a one word answer even if it’s “great”; tell them why!
-don’t feel like you have to just say “I’m doing okay” even if you’re not; actually tell your friend how you’re doing
9. Be realiable.
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) ~ One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Do you have a friend that’s flakey? Or are you a flakey friend? No one likes someone who goes back on their word. So be reliable. Matthew 5:37 says, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” So work on being honest with your friends about what you say yes to- whether that means keeping something personal they shared with you private or meeting them for lunch. Be reliable and let them have confidence in your word.
-if you just don’t feel like doing something with your friend, just be honest and tell them why. If you’re tired, just say “I’m really tired tonight, girl. Rain check?” I bet they would appreicate that more than you being wishy-washy until the last second and then bailing.
-don’t be a blabbermouth! If you need to say “Don’t tell so-and-so that I told you, BUT…”, then maybe let so-and-so be the one to tell your friend…. besides, if you’re saying this to your friend, they will probably be more leary about trusting you with their struggles/personal life too
10. Pray with and for them.
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) ~ And pray also in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I have really been trying to say quick prayers for my friends when I think about them. This way my “I’ll pray for you” isn’t void, and I really am praying for them. This verse comes directly after Paul discusses the Armor of God. Once we are armed, then we are told to pray. And he tells us to “always” keep praying. So pray with your friends, but also, pray for them! That’s the sweetest gift you can give. I LOVE when my friends tell me they’ll be praying for me. It is so comforting and life-giving. So be that person for your friends!
-say a prayer for thanksgiving for your friends
-ask a few how you can pray for them specifically
I hope that this post gives you some inpsiration on how to love on your gal pals this week! These pictures are of me and my Bridesmaids (if you didn’t already know that…haha), but I wish I could have put a picture of every sweet friend I have because I love them all so much!
Here is just a quick graphic of the list with the corresponding verses if you want to save a copy of it!
Will you share something sweet that a friend has done to be a good friend to you?!
PS If you want to also love on your husby, you might like Questions to Ask to Love on Your Husband!
Let’s be friends!
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