Friendships are Important
by Drenda Keesee
Friends are important. Studies have found that you will become like the five people you spend the most time with. But we often don’t think about how our friends are influencing us. That’s why you need to know the importance of godly friendships!
We all need people in our lives. God said it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He made Eve! We are social creatures who need each other. But who we decide to spend our time with is up to us. Your friends will play a major part in where you are headed in life! I want to share with you how you can experience the right friendships in life…
1. Family is the most important friendship.
Family is critical. Where you come from will set your norms and expectations for the future. Raising your children in a godly home is so important!
The nuclear family is being torn apart. Between school, sports, extracurricular activities, and friends, kids are spending less time at home. There are so many people influencing them and exposing them to their ideologies. And with technology, many parents are tied to work all day long.
How can you create a stronger family? By spending time together. I always encourage families to take vacations. Not with friends, not with extended family, but aim to take a trip with your immediate family once a year. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. There are so many great places to travel to. Hop in the car and go camping! Explore the fantastic earth God has given us! Try to unplug from your phones and reconnect with each other. Your kids may argue, and it might be challenging at first. But as more time passes, you will reconnect and make great memories!
When our children were young, Gary and I had no money. We were broke, but we knew the importance of family time. We would hop in the car, get the map out, and drive! We would camp out west and make so many memories together.
Looking back, I’m happy we made it a priority to spend time together because it allowed us to reconnect.
Of course, this was before kids had cell phones, social media, and the Internet with them at all times. Now, it’s entirely possible to take a vacation physically together but to be emotionally disconnected. Remember, your goal is to spend time with family, not friends! I would encourage you to limit the technology use on vacation. I know it’s not easy, and it will keep kids occupied so you can relax, but you won’t build relationships if everyone is sitting around with earbuds in and on their phones! And don’t spend the whole time on your phone either! Sometimes phones can be just as distracting for adults as children.
Make your children a priority. Let them know that you care, but be firm in your leadership. Many parents today want to be their child’s best friend and to be the trendy social media mom. It’s great to have a healthy relationship with your child, but that does not mean always saying yes. Children need to be told no sometimes. And they will be grateful when they are older! By saying no to some things now, you are helping them to say yes to the things God has for them.
2. You need friends who will encourage you!
Do you spend time building each other up, or are you wasting time away? What we do with friends is also important! Find friends who have similar interests as you. Do you enjoy gardening? Find a friend to garden with! Having a common hobby will help to keep your friendship together.
In the same way that hobbies bring us together and create a common bond, your relationship with the Lord will give you a common purpose. And this is the most important commonality! When you have friends who are pursuing their destinies and striving to accomplish all God has for them, you can relate. That’s why godly friends are so important. And, when you each have a relationship with the Lord, you will always have something in common!
Not only is what you talk about with your friends important but also how you talk about it. Are your words encouraging? Or do you spend most of your time gossiping negatively about others? Do you leave conversations feeling inspired, encouraged, or overall joyful? Or are you leaving feeling drained, exhausted, and discouraged?
I’m not saying everything needs to be positive all the time. Sometimes, it’s good to have a friend to be real with as life isn’t always easy. But there are some who always seem to be negative. Everything is wrong in their lives according to them, but they don’t want to fix things, nor do they try. They try to bring everyone else down with them and spread their negative attitude.
These are the people I call sharks. Don’t let sharks keep you from your destiny! I talk about how you can deal with the sharks in your life in my book Shark Proof: How to Deal with Difficult People.
Sharks are not necessarily intentionally destructive. In fact, they might not even be aware of it. It’s great to reach out to them, help them, and encourage them, but don’t let them influence you. I have had to distance myself from some of these people before. It’s hard, and in the moment, you don’t want to abandon them. But think about how a toxic relationship affects those around it. You see, some friends were impacting my family. They would leave me questioning my decisions, and they were taking away precious time I would have otherwise spent with my family. We need friends, but the most important relationships we have on Earth are those with family. If someone is pulling you away from your family, I would encourage you to take a deeper look into the relationship.
3. Watch your talk.
Pay attention to what you are saying when you spend time with people. Do you build each other up? Are you encouraged to follow the path God has in store for you? Your friends should be encouraging you in your faith. You should leave feeling inspired to pursue all God has for you!
4. Grow with your friends.
Friends are incredible for growth. And we should always be striving to grow and mature in our lives. But many friendships end up stagnant and keep us stuck in a routine of life. These friendships are hard to recognize! You will become like who you spend time with. If you have friends who aren’t motivated to be their best, you won’t be either.
Be friends with people who will push you toward your goals and make you a better person. God has a wonderful plan for you! He loves His children and wants to see them happy! Don’t settle for less than God’s best. He will send the right people into your life.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.