4 Ways to Be a Kick-Butt Friend

This past year has been a struggle. My husband and I found out we were infertile, I began to struggle with chronic illness, and depression slowly seeped its way into the corners of my life. As the week goes on, I often struggle through the week. Sundays are often the hardest. Walking into the house of the Lord, meeting with the people of God, it’s a constant reminder that all is not as it should be.

I have some friends who have kept their distance and not understood that, despite canceled plans and the frequent answer “no,” I do really value them. I have others who have stood in the gap and warded off the enemy’s attacks through the ministry of meals and open doors.

Everyone has a “me” in their life. Even I have friends who are deeper in the trenches of life than I am.  All of us strive to be the hands and feet of Christ. Here are a few practical ways to stand in the gap for your friend.

1) Drop Off Flowers

The day my husband left for his first deployment, I got a text from a friend telling me to look outside. She knew that I was probably feeling low and not wanting to see anyone, but she wanted to lift my spirits. On my porch, I found a small, potted flower. My friend Lisa, that sweet woman, wanted to make me smile. She reminded me of the beauty in the world. I’m pretty sure I promptly killed the flower but to this day, I still smile when I remember her kindness.

2) Host Them In Their Home

This one is hard to accept but during a particularly rough time with my illness, it was hard to leave the house. I had recently met woman at church and when she realized what was going on in my life, said she wanted to host me right where I was. She showed up with a grocery bag in hand, demanded that I stay on the couch and not clean-up, and promptly made me a chai tea latte. We sat for hours talking. Her company, her hospitality in my own home, was the beginning of a deep friendship.

3) Take Them Dinner

It is hard for me to accept dinner but oh, what a help this has been. The best dinners are the ones that reheat well and can be eaten on for a few days. When your going through a hard time, your appetite can fluctuate as much as your mood. Making something that they can eat on when they are up for it can be life-changing. Dropping them a freezer meal or bringing something to church can be equally helpful. Be sure to ask about any dietary restrictions. I am limited by dairy and feel like I’m burdening friends with an additional task if I mention this when they ask to bring me dinner. One friend asked and then smiled and said that it was an easy thing to work a dairy-free meal into the menu. That was a lie but the kindness put me at ease.

4) Keep In Touch

Depression particularly makes it difficult to muster up the energy to connect with friends. This past year has made me feel like such a joy-killer than I don’t want to inflict my presence on others. I’m so grateful for the friends who kept reaching out. Everyone has periods of their life when they can’t reciprocate as they’d wish. Whether it was a text of a funny meme or a note in the mail or an invitation for coffee, even bit of contact reminded me that I was a loved part of the Body of Christ. Medical treatments, new babies, moves – they all impact our lives. None of us are untouched by occasionally becoming the “checked out” friend. So when you’re checked in, remind your friends they are loved. Ask how you can pray for them, then follow-up. Call them just to say hey. Love them.

While these are all lovely ideas, the most important thing is to do something. Be there. Don’t be paralyzed by the fear or doing the wrong thing. Step out in faith and trust that God will use your efforts to do His work.

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  1. What a great list of things, but I want to tell you I am dairy-free as well and it is definitely super-easy to prepare something for someone when you’ve had as much practice as I 😉 — if you were near Fort Bragg, NC I’d gladly drop something off to make you smile. Don’t ever give up, friend. There are dark days and there will be bright days. I will pray for you.

  2. These are REALLY great ideas. I try to do similar things like this to my close friends as often as possible, and I can tell you whole heartedly how much of a difference it has made in our relationships. Same goes for when they make similar efforts. Friendships can come and go, and they can truly be hard, all relationships can enter that “phase”…I think these ideas are awesome for trying to stay away from that happening!

    • It is so important to keep pushing even when we feel distant! “There isa friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

      I’m so grateful for friends who haven’t abandoned me when things got hard.

    • We are often so afraid of doing the wrong thing that we are paralyzed. I hope this encourages people to just do something in love.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story and these great tips! I am so sorry you’ve had a hard time lately, but your braveness and vulnerability are being used for good. I will reach out to some friends who can use some kindness right now!

    • Melissa, That is exactly what I hoped to hear as a result of this post! I hope you are blessed through blessing your friends.

  4. Yes! These ideas are so needed. Thank you, Bailey, for speaking this message. I am also going through a season of health challenges that has significantly impacted my physical activity level and socializing. A close friend just came out of a season of severe depression, as well. The little efforts of reaching out and simple companionship matter SO much to someone who is struggling with physical challenges.

  5. I think this is AMAZING! And thank you for sharing your story. It’s nice to hear it from both perspectives. These are such selfless acts. It is so important to remember to spread the good in the world and to lift others up in need. There is always someone in need!

  6. I laughed so hard when I read ¨I´m pretty sure I promptly killed the flower¨ I can relate!!! Lol. On another note, these 4 tips are great. It´s amazing how these 4 simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can have such a profound impact on a friend´s life. Loved the post! I think it´s a great reminder of the things we can do for someone else and let them know how appreciated they are and that they´re not alone. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post! 🙂

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