Are your friendships healthy? Do you know what the Bible says about friendships and boundaries and when it’s time to say goodbye?
Today I’m going to share what the Bible says about healthy friendships, share what isn’t healthy, and a very personal story of breakthrough!
I had an experience, and then I heard a message that confirmed it, and then my mom and I were talking about it and I got a double confirmation, and I just need to know if anyone else has felt this way.
We aren’t wasting any time today, so let’s dive in!
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
These words of wisdom from King Solomon Emphasize the importance of protecting our innermost being. Our heart is the source of our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Therefore, it is crucial to guard our hearts above all else.
Open the Bibles shares, “The Lord means for us to guard our hearts by filtering our emotions, desires, thoughts, and responses through his Word. He is the watchman that protects our souls. And what's his primary means of defense? The sword of Scripture.”
Friendships affect your health, mood, and the way you see yourself. That’s why it is vital that we are equally yoked with friends
2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Crosswalk shares, “To be yoked refers to two oxen that are joined by a wooden bar in order to complete work together. Being unequally yoked means that the two oxen are not equal in strength - one being weaker. When oxen are not equally yoked, they can not complete a task together well. Using this imagery, Christians cannot be partnered with unbelievers or they will not be able to live out the Christian life that God wants for them. The weaker unbeliever who lives according to the flesh will slow down and hinder the Christian. Our faith is not meant to associate with the darkness of the sinful world.”
Have you ever been going through something and then God shows up with a word or a message that just blows you away? I’m still overwhelmed by what He did for me! Check this out…
I had a friend for years. She was that girl who knew me when!
I loved her, but our relationship wasn’t healthy. I know I’m not perfect, but she had some mental health issues that made it difficult to be friends with her. One day, I told her how I felt and it was a defining moment, are we going to be friends or not?
I didn’t hear from her anymore, and this was about the time I was writing my Strong, Confident His Devotional. One morning I remember God telling me, “You can’t go where you’re going with this person in your life anymore.” So I let her go.
I recently ran into her, and, I’ve never had an experience like this. Typically I would smile and be very friendly, but I couldn’t even make myself. I felt like the Holy Spirit protecting me and put a guard over my mind, my mouth, my mood I could not fake it at all and she even noticed and said, “I know you’re not happy to see me.”
When I left that experience, I prayerfully asked God why I responded like that it.
So this happened on a Sunday and then on Friday, my daughter and I went to at The Splendid She Is Women’s Conference.
This is what I heard Nona Jones say, “Stop trying to make your enemies frenemies when God has made them your audience!” Here are other points she made from the notes on my phone:
Girl, get a pen and get a copy of her book, Killing Comparison
We often attach ourselves to people who are not assigned to our destiny
Just wow, right!
Okay, so that was Friday, then on Sunday, Mother’s Day, my mom and I were talking, and I told her about how I felt, and she said she felt angels trying to protect me.
I believe God was protecting me.
Have you been through or are you going through an unhealthy friendship?
Friend, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He knows our hearts are tender and that we can love people that aren’t necessarily good for us. We are called to love others as ourselves, but sometimes that means from afar. I even told my old friend that any time she comes to mind, I pray for her and her family.
I like how Your questions, Biblical Answers shares, “Friendships are an important part of our lives. We need friends—people we bond with in mutual affection. But not just any friend will do; having the right friends is key, and discernment is required: “The righteous choose their friends carefully” (Proverbs 12:26).”
In Scripture, we see what a true friend should be:
A true friend shows love, no matter what (Proverbs 17:17).
A true friend gives heartfelt advice, bringing joy to the heart (Proverbs 27:9).
A true friend rebukes when necessary, but the correction is done in love (Proverbs 27:5–6).
A true friend influences, enlivens, and sharpens (Proverbs 27:17).
A true friend avoids gossip (Proverbs 16:28).
A true friend forgives and does not hold grudges (Proverbs 17:9).
A true friend is loyal (Proverbs 18:24).
A true friend helps in time of need (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).
Some questions for reflection…
This leads me to think about Boundaries. So I did some research on Biblical Boundaries and this is what I found on GotQuestions.Org:
Boundaries teach us to accept one another as being different yet still valuable. God uses boundaries to help us appreciate the differences in people rather than be upset by them. Proper boundaries aid believers in keeping out worldly influences. Children of the light have no fellowship with darkness and are thus separate from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14). Being kind and friendly is Christ-like, but we are not to embrace the world’s way of doing things (James 4:4). Our wish is not to keep people away, but when people are being destructive, the boundaries we set can limit the evil they commit against us.
I learned a lot going through this, and I hope this has helped you. Let’s examine our hearts and motives in our friendships.
Let’s be both good and godly friends and allow God to deepen the right friendships or end relationships that are unhealthy for us.
I want to pray for you before you leave today.
Dear God, We thank you for sending us the very best friend we could ever have, Jesus. We thank you for being our true friend. We ask for wisdom and clarity around friendships. Show us how to be healthy and godly friends and help us put boundaries around the friendships that are unhealthy. Teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves and that it's okay to love ourselves enough to let unhealthy relationships go.
Help us remember your word that says you want us to guard our hearts. Free us from fear in toxic relationships, from what people think, from friends that hold our pasts over us, from friends who have rejected us. Fill our hearts with your love and security and teach us healthy boundaries and friendships. Many of us have been hurt and feel isolated because of unhealthy friendships, please Father, lead those of us who need friends to the right people.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
I know you certainly have a friend in me! Share this with someone who may need to hear this today.
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