How to Make Friends (tips for finding your people)
Stefani Pady
Three friends sitting around a table having fun together

Inside: As believers, we are called to live in Christian community. But how do we make friends? And not just make friends… how do we find our people? How do we make good, accountable Christian friends? How do we find our people who will support us through the bad times, celebrate the good times, and share life with us in the in-between? We’ll share 5 tips I have personally used to find and create a soul-filling Christian community of women (aka How to Make Friends who will be there for us).

 

We personally know women who are currently struggling with:

  • Terminal Cancer
  • Divorce
  • Infidelity
  • Eating Disorders
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Questioning their faith
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Crippling Debt
  • Anxiety

We also know women who:

  • Had a baby
  • Got promoted
  • Got pregnant after being told they couldn’t
  • Launched a business
  • Successfully meal planned for a full quarter of the year (me!)
  • Started grad school
  • Bought a house
  • Got married
  • Landed a new client
  • Finished a new book

 

This is a real list. Jen and I sat down and made it ourselves. It represents very real women in our personal lives.

We have friends who are going through awful, awful things. We also know women overwhelmed by exceptional things happening in their lives.

It’s happening simultaneously.

We’re surrounded by beauty and ashes.

Sometimes life is heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring at the exact same time.

Maybe you can relate.

We don’t always get to know why awful (or amazing!) things happen to us, but Scripture is clear that all the things are designed to be walked through with community.

 

What the Bible Says About Christian Community

The Bible tells us to do many things in a Christian community: encourage, love, help, forgive, show hospitality, carry each other’s burdens, confess sins, and pray for each other.

We see throughout Scripture that God’s idea of Christian community is a safe place to do life together. Even Jesus had an insider crew (check out this moment Jesus has with his inner circle in Matthew 17).

The reality for us today, though, is that it’s easier than ever to isolate ourselves. Sometimes we do this out of shame. Sometimes we do this out of anxiety. Sometimes it’s life circumstances.

Isolating ourselves is even celebrated by our culture. Have you seen all the reels on Instagram about canceled plans?? Sometimes, canceled plans create space I need for rest, but if I’m really honest, sometimes I just want to hide because I don’t want to let anyone see how deep, messy, or imperfect my life is.

But hiding isn’t what I am called to do. We are called to unite.

 

How to Make Friends (aka Finding Your People)

We are going to start our advice about how to make friends (aka “finding your people”) with the type of advice you’d expect to find on a Christian blog: pray (tell God how you’re feeling and ask for His help in finding your people) and join a healthy local church.

These truly are important places to start. We also know that, in reality, you can pray, join a church, read the Bible with someone, be married and share a home with someone, and yet, still feel isolated beyond measure.

Lonely doesn’t always mean alone. It can mean unseen.

Let’s look at the definition of friendship:

Friendship: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection

Guys, we are made to be fully known, not hidden. Of course by God, but on this side of heaven, humans are the hands and feet of God. If we aren’t letting people in, then we are missing out on the blessings God created for us.

“For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly.”

John 4:7A ESV

 

So how do we find a village of ladies to support through the bad times, celebrate through the good times, and share life with in the in-between?

Here are the best things I have done to find and create a soul-filling community of women. Keep reading for some suggestions on how to make friends who will really be there for you.

 

1. Be authentic in your struggle

I don’t know about you, but I love walking into a friend’s house that has a sink full of dishes. My response is usually, “Thank you for making me feel normal.”

Dishes are easy (for some of us anyway), but opening up about relationship issues, money woes, work struggles, or children chaos could be a little more challenging. As Christians, we aren’t supposed to gossip, we are called to honor our husbands, and our kids should respect their parents (it’s in the Ten Commandments, right?!).

That leaves us questioning, “Is it Christian to be authentic, when your reality is that you are, well…. pissed?”

Your struggle is your struggle and until you feel it, you won’t heal it. We all need to feel seen and we all need to process challenges with trusted sources. Here are some truths to remember:

  • You can be honest while still honoring
  • You can speak to your struggle without steamrolling your coworker
  • It is possible to show up imperfectly without initiating drama

 

2. Help first, trust first

When possible, I offer to drive the carpool first or send a mom home from sports practice so she can have some space while I safely bring her kiddo home. There is no reason for both overworked mommas to sit out in the cold for a fall football practice.

Ask to go to lunch. Bring dinner. Send flowers or a simple text. Small acts of kindness go a long way to let someone know you are thinking of them and that they are worth your time.

Also… I try to ask for help first, too: “Hey, I have something I am struggling with, how would you handle it?”

Most people want to help others, so when you go first and trust someone by asking for feedback, you open the door for them to do the same.

 

3. Treat your people as priorities and tell them so

I would be lying if I pretended to have it all together on this one. (I’m a work in progress!)

I have a friend who just started a business, got married, had a baby, and merged a blended family together. When I texted her that I was having a really hard day, she called me and said, “You are a priority.” These words alone changed my entire being that day. My sense of worth went straight up to heaven.

And guess what… when she calls me, I answer.

“I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy”

2 Corinthians 7:4 ESV

 

4. Speak boldly and ask good questions

Do you know we are called to speak bold truth? When we do, we mimic Jesus. I know that, depending on your personality type, this can be easier said than done, but people want to be around people who speak the truth. The more we lean into Jesus, the easier it becomes.

“Hey girl, you have food in your teeth.”

“What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”

“I know you will say no, but I demand to bring you dinner, would you prefer spaghetti or grilled chicken?”

“Hey, something is bothering me about our last conversation, could we have an honest discussion?”

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 ESV

 

5. Talk less, listen more, judge never, and keep your word

Eek… this one is hard. Especially if you happen to be like me, a habitual interrupter who tends to think she is always right. But let’s be honest, we know I am not.

The more we ask questions, limit our assumptions, and provide a safe space for people to show up authentically, the more we attract solid, soul-filling relationships. Keep your word solid, your tone safe, and make sure your mouth only speaks when adding value to someone’s life. Accept people (and their dirty dishes).

 

Make Friends In A Safe Community

If you aren’t currently plugged into a local church, I encourage you to start visiting churches near you. I am exploring some, too.

That said, in certain seasons, for various reasons, I understand this can feel uncomfortable or impossible because unfortunately, people do experience real hurt in church. I know women who feel alone and like they won’t fit in. They cuss, they drink, they wear crop tops… (I can’t relate to the latter 😉) and church doesn’t feel safe.

But their struggle (and need for a Christian community) still exists.

One of the reasons I founded Women, Worship and Work was because I felt alone. I felt lonely in leadership and wanted to build a safe village for women like me. My prayer has always been that WWW would be a safe village that lifts women up, shows up authentically (and imperfectly), and is accountable to learning the truth in God’s Word. It’s been exciting to see this unfold!

 

You’re Invited

We are launching a new group that I want to invite you to. Suited is a membership group where we’ll combine Biblical truth with tried-and-true growth and leadership tips to grow into the very best version of yourself (at home, in your side hustle, and in your 9-to-5). You can learn more about it here.

Learn more about the Suited Membership here.

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