A friendship can still be new even if you’ve already shared a handful of coffee dates; you’re still getting to know one another and how your character traits work together. So, how do you build up this new friendship in a godly way? How can you deepen the friendship to go beyond surface conversation?

1. Communication

Keeping in contact with one another is one of the best ways to show the person you care and that you’re a committed friend. Communication is such a beautiful language between friends that it’s something that simply can’t be replaced, whether it’s an outing, talking on the phone, texting to figure out a good time to meet up, or even sending a comical message on Snapchat or Facebook. Keeping the relationship alive is a key importance for building a strong and lasting friendship.

2. Encouragement

Encouraging your new friend is so very vital. Aim to have your friend feel happier and more at peace after seeing you or talking to you. Let it be known that because you love God first, you’re going to show His love to them in a friendly and uplifting way. Simple things like, “You’ve got this” or “God has you and you’re going to make it” go a long way for a new budding friendship.

3. Authenticity

Building a friendship is like any relationship that first starts out; you have to give of yourself, your time and your energy if you desire something to last. Also, being real and authentic is so important. Being believers, we should also be good discerners, and with that comes the knowledge of whether someone is genuine with you. No one likes to be around fake niceness, it just doesn’t get anywhere and the person can feel there will be no fruit from it.

Being genuine is in fact one of the greatest tools for building a sustaining friendship, one where both of your spirits are being fed. People desire friends who are going to be real and down-to-earth with them so that they, too, can feel comfortable in sharing about their lives. One can’t really do that with someone who always puts a smile on and doesn’t take the time get serious (or who spends the whole time looking at their phone instead of engaging on a personal level).

The truth of the matter is that life isn’t always chipper and good, sometimes the ugly rears its head and all you can do is brace yourself, hold your breath, pray and hope that people will genuinely be there for you. That’s what friendship is. That’s what friendship takes and demands of you if you say you’re a true and honest friend to someone. Take a look at how Elisha responds to Elijah in the Bible; isn’t that a perfect reflection of a friend sticking by your side no matter what?

“Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.”  —2 Kings 2:2

You may also be interested in Becoming BFFs: How To Make Friends As An Adult

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