Let’s be honest: sometimes, it’s easier to go deep with friends who aren’t believers. Maybe it’s because they’ve been there since our awkward middle school stage, and we’ve gone through so much with them. Or it’s simply because we can be ourselves around them without fear that they’ll judge us for not being a “good Christian.”

Even so, when it comes down to it, we need deep connections with friends that do share our beliefsthat get that foundational part of us, and help us love Jesus more. Paul talks about believers “mutually building each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and we want that. We want to be reminded that we’re not alone in our faith. 

If you’ve got a friend (or friends) in mind that you’d like to go deeper with but you’re struggling to get there, we’ve got you covered. Here are three questions that can help deepen a friendship. 


What in you needs to be celebrated?

We can’t exactly “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15) if we aren’t sharing with close Christian friends what’s worth rejoicing. And nowe’re not talking about a promotion or work bonus. Instead, let’s try celebrating more nuanced things.

It’ll take some context (and some time) for a friend to understand why not having a panic attack when we were triggered in a work meeting is such a victory. Or how big of a deal it is that we stayed porn-free for a whole week, or actually enforced a boundary when that toxic family member called again.

Let’s invite others to celebrate the big and little things that God is doing in us. It’s part of being better known and understood in healthy, faith-based relationships. Inviting others to join us in celebrating what God’s doing will also help solidify the memory of God’s provision, which we’ll need to call on when we inevitably encounter more of life’s craziness in the future (and even if we forget, now we’ve got a friend who can remind us!).


What in you needs to be forgiven?

Regret and shame about our mistakes can hold so much power over us and make us completely miserable— but only until we bring it into the light. Confessing or sharing about our mistakes kick starts the process of being made clean, or pure (1 John 1:9).  When light shines on even our darkest spots, those spots aren’t dark anymore. 

Sharing with a trusted friend what in us needs to be forgiven can shake loose our mistakes’ hold on us, freeing us to turn away from the dark things we’ve been hiding. Seriously, there’s something about letting the thing we’ve been making ourselves sick over be finally spoken aloud that makes it a lot less scary. Once it’s out there, we can finally start dealing with it.

And most of the time, all the dark scary scenarios we’ve been dreading just don’t come true. More often than not, we find an empathetic friend who listens, and reminds us of this: we’re already forgiven. We have a father who wants really good things for us. He’s not mad at us for messing up. He’s broken and sad because we’re fighting this battle against brokenness. Then, with that friend, we can seek Jesus, asking him for wisdom and strength to navigate a way forward.


What in you needs to be healed?

Although Jesus’s death brought about the ultimate healing that is a Christian’s greatest hope (1 Peter 2:24), we live in a world that’s riddled with nasty realities of brokenness. We need tastes of Jesus’s healing now—sometimes it feels like we can’t keep going without it. So, let’s be bold in asking for the healing we need from the One who can provide it.

There are wounds our parents inflicted that might be surfacing for the first time as we become parents ourselves, habits of control or perfectionism that have wreaked havoc in our relationships, or physical ailments and chronic pain that are obstacles to completing necessary everyday tasks like showing up to work or even grocery shopping.

Healing doesn’t always come on this side of heaven, we know that. There’s no guarantee that Jesus will immediately free us from the pain that we’re carrying. But there’s something to be said about letting others in on our pain so that we don’t carry it alone. When we share with close friends, we can find affirmation in the simple acknowledgment of what we’re dealing with. And, a friend who understands the intricate ways pain affects our daily life is one more person who can jump in when and where it’s appropriate to help us cope with the pain, even if Jesus doesn’t take it away.


Practice is Worth It

Psychotherapist Esther Perel says, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” What better way to experience a richer, better quality life than to invest in godly friendships? As we practice intimacy with safe, godly friends, it grows our capacity to be intimate with God, too. We can’t get good at anything without practice, right? 


So let’s dive in. This week, find a friend who also wants to go deeper in their life with God, and ask these three questions. We can’t wait to hear where it takes you!