How to Create Lasting Friendships
By Drenda Keesee
Did you know friendships are powerful?
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV).
Who we choose as friends can either hold us back or propel us forward.
We become like the people with whom we spend the most time. Even your income is likely to reflect theirs! If you want to build your vision, surround yourself with visionaries. If you’ve always wanted to do something specific, go out and find the person who does it the best and learn from them!
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) warns us: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Who we invest our time in is just as important as…
…what we invest our time into. So invest your time in good, healthy relationships! Find people in your life who will challenge you to think bigger, encourage you to go further, and inspire you to keep going. When we come together unified in friendship, we can have great success!
So many people today lack the mentorship and friendships that make this world navigable. These relationships give us people to celebrate life with, and people to support us in hard times.
It IS possible to live life the way God, our Creator intended it to be lived and have the happy, healthy relationships He intended us to have. We just need to turn our hearts to Him and His Word!
Read below for how to say yes to friendships, and for five tips on how to build healthy relationships. You can have amazing friendships!
Say Yes to Friendships
Say yes to friendships! God has all the answers for our connections to people. Many times, our greatest joys (and potential sorrows) come from relationships with those we love, so we need to learn how to invest in them God’s way and free ourselves from wrongful expectations and hurtful words and actions. There is an anointing from God to enjoy relationships, and you can have tremendous joy as you are empowered to be the friend, wife, mother, mentor, and minister that God has called you to be.
All relationships must be built on trust, unconditional love (acceptance), an exchange of giving, receiving, and forgiveness. It is completely unrealistic to think that any one of us is going to always get it right or others will not fail at times in these areas. We have to die to selfishness and getting our own way right when we want it. Relationships are God’s way to teach us more about His love and us. The only way to be successful in relationships is to learn how He does it!
5 Tips to Building Healthy Relationships
1. Accept God’s love for you.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”(Psalm 139:14, NIV).
Grow in self-acceptance because you know He loves and accepts you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him!
2. Let God be the Master Architect in your life.
Let Him direct you to mentors and friends that can help you grow and change!
3. Be willing to submit your heart.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV).
Be open to being trained and sharpened by others in a loyal, committed exchange, accepting that God will ask you to invest in and befriend others as you have been mentored.
4. Be friendly!
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”(Proverbs 18:24, NKJV).
Remember, the Bible tells us that to have friends, we must be friendly. Competitive jealousy, controlling behaviors, bad attitudes, gossip, pettiness, and self-centered demands are relationship killers.
5. Be found faithful.
When you blow it, as we all inevitably will at some point, forgiveness and humility are the glue that will hold the relationship together. Free yourself from wrong expectations and hurtful words and actions. Invest in people God’s way!
We were created for relationship—we were never intended to carry the difficulties of life alone.
Sure, there are challenges to overcome in nearly every relationship, but if we choose our friends wisely and make the commitment to be loyal, honest, trustworthy, grateful, and faithful, God can bless our lives with these relationships, and we can enjoy the journey together.
God will bring people into your life. God created us, and only He knows what will fulfill each of us and bring us lasting peace and happiness in our lives. When you come into God’s Kingdom, you come into a family—the family of God. This transformation should impact every relationship in your life! You can learn how to walk in the grace and empowerment that is yours in your marriage, family, home, friendships, and life!
You can make real friends, laugh heartily, learn truth together, live whole, and love freely.
That’s why I created The Happy Life Membership! Happy Life Groups will connect you with other women and help you form healthy, lasting friendships that will challenge you to think bigger, encourage you to go further, and inspire you to keep pressing forward.
If you’re looking to make an even more significant transformation, then I want to encourage you to lead a Happy Life Group! That’s the best way to create lasting transformation––just say yes!
I can’t wait to embark on this incredible journey with you.
Listen in Now to 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 Keesees 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 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.