We were created for relationships and each of us desires to have real connection. Did you know that God is interested in our relationships? Whether we find friendships difficult or if we are feeling lonely- He can help us. So how do we make friends and how can we be a good friend? We asked a few Lifehousers to share some of their thoughts.
Katie- Mother・30s・Married Nozomi- Worker・30s・Married
Taishi- University Student・20s・Single Takuya- Worker・30s・Single
Q1. What do you think makes a good friendship?
Takuya: You can encourage one another to stay strong in faith and tell each other what we may not always want to hear. We are both committed to the friendship (they don’t cut you off just because something offends them).
Katie: A good friend for me is someone I can be myself with. We build each other up emotionally and spiritually. Not only do we laugh together but we support each other in the difficult seasons as well. We forgive each other quickly and speak to each other with honesty and grace.
Q2. How have you been impacted by good friendships?
Taishi: When I started having great friendships, I learned that it’s okay to share your worries and have deep conversations with them. At first, I was wondering why my friends were being such awesome friends to me but, through my friendship with them, naturally I started to look towards God, wanting to get to know Him more!
Nozomi: I grew up in church, so it wouldn’t have been possible to stay on track if I didn’t have Christian friends to help me overcome the struggles that I faced as a follower of Jesus in my school days. Now as a Christian in the workplace, I deal with different types of problems from time to time, but am blessed with Christian friendships where we can encourage, trust and pray for each other.
Q3. How do you invest in the friendships you have?
Taishi: Instead of just contacting each other through SNS, it’s important for me to actually meet them face-to-face. Simply making time to hang out. I meet them outside of class time if they are my university friends, meet them outside my working hours with my part-time job friends, meet my church friends on a non-church day.
Katie: By investing my energy, time and love. I try to make time for my friends in both busy seasons and slow ones. If I’m in a busy season, I’ll send a text to let them know I love them and am praying for them. When they are going through a challenging season I will sit with them, listen to them, give a good hug, pray or send encouraging scriptures.
Q4. How can we be good friends to others?
Nozomi: I’m a type of person who can become careless and start losing interest in people as time passes, so I need to make an effort to have genuine interest in people. So when someone comes to mind, I try to make a point to say hi or contact them!
Takuya: If I have a good relationship with God, I can be a better friend. God can give us solutions to challenges we face and most of all, we can find real friendship and fulfillment in Him.
Q5. How would encourage someone who wants to have good friendships?
Taishi: We’re all different and have unique personalities, so you may have disagreements. If it seems awkward but take courage and why don’t you try apologizing to your friend? Also, you will be able to be friends with different types of people. There are definitely people out there who you will get along with.
Nozomi: I am on the introverted end, so it takes time for me to open up. You can’t be friends with everyone, but if you’re interested in someone or have an opportunity to meet someone, have courage and open up to them. Then spend some time with them so that they’ll get to know you as well.
Takuya: I used to have an arrogant attitude toward people. As I grew in my relationship with God, He spoke to me about this. With His help I am growing in this area, so now I can treat people with respect. Of course, nobody is perfect. Everyone has had some sort of relational problem with others. When we realize and admit that we have an issue and seek healing from God, our relationships with others will be transformed for the better. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (NIV).
Katie: Don’t be afraid to ask someone to spend time together. Many people desire a good friendship just as much as you. But be prepared to give your time and energy. In big cities, like Tokyo for example, people can live quite far from each other. Building friendships might mean taking a longer train ride even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, Meaningful friendships take time to build. Keep praying for those friendships to grow, start with the little investments and before you know it that friendship will blossom.