“4 Ways To Develop Deep Friendships”

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Episode Summary

Cultivating biblical friendships rarely just happens, it takes an intentional pursuit!

It’s more important than ever to have deep friendships we can run the race with, however, it’s not easy as the times we are living in also tend to cause more division. How will you guide and teach your children to build deep biblical friendships if you aren’t doing it? There are good like-minded people out there, tune in to be challenged and encouraged.

Main Points From This Episode:

  • It’s not about having lots of friends, it’s about going deeper with a few.
  • The Tolpins give a root analogy from the vineyard, shallow roots don’t develop good fruit. When roots go deep, it’s more challenging for the vine, but it’s the only way to get great fruit worthy of good wine. Shallow relationships don’t develop good fruit either, but are you willing to do what’s more challenging to reach better fruit in your relationships?
  • Hospitality is a crucial part of building deeper relationships
  • It’s important to be transparent, real, and honest. Sometimes you have to go first.
  • Growing together is a great way to grow deeper. Pray, serve, talk about what you are learning, and sharpen one another.
  • Someone once said, “If you talk too much about yourself you are boring, if you talk about others you are a gossip, if you talk about ideas you are interesting.”
  • It’s important to be biblical in your approach to friendships. (Listen to the episode)

Scriptures From This Episode:

– 1 Peter 4:8-9 – “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

– James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

– 1 John 1:8 – “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

– Ephesians 4:15 – “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”

– Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

– Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

– Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

– Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

– 1 Peter 3:8-9 – “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”

– John 17:22-23 – “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Just a quick note about this episode. Such an important thing that we can run the race strong with one another.

Hey, listen, if you’ve been struggling with feeling isolated or lonely or maybe you have friendships, but you want them to go deeper biblically, or maybe your kids are struggling with this and you just don’t know how to help them. Today’s podcast is for you.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And Isaac from Resolute Man Together pursuing the mission to impact 10 million families and their legacies for the Kingdom of God.

We’ve been married for 23 years and are seeing the fruit from raising our nine children Biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.

We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children, as too many from Christian families are walking away from their faith by the age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

We’re praising the Lord that ministry continues to expand and impact more legacies. We couldn’t do this without you. Whether you pray for us, give us five star reviews or share on social.

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Join us as we start another important conversation about effective parenting in a fallen world. Hi everyone. Welcome to the podcast. Hi guys. Today we’re talking about four ways to develop deep friendships, and this is for both the guys and the gals.

Oh yeah. I’m excited to dive in and hear from you today on this topic.

Oh, I can’t wait to hear from you too. I mean, you’re so good at this. I mean, you built a whole course on it, but. But yeah, it’s awesome. But we’re going to dive into some practical insights. Not only are we built that way to need to run the race with other people, but it’s also practical. It’s important. It’s more important than ever as the world is falling into chaos, which, you know, we know that kind of thing is going to happen if we read our Bible. But it’s important to run the race with people that we can trust, know we have our backs and can talk about biblical things in agreement. That’s right.

So today’s podcast, we titled Four Ways to Develop Deep Friendships, and we will be talking about those from both our perspectives. Obviously. Um, but one thing that we wanted to share with you guys is in regards to this summer, like this summer is a huge opportunity to grow in relationships. If you listen to our last podcast, we titled This Summer Family Revival, um, where Isaac actually had finished and we launched a new page on our website Be courageous ministry.org/church where churches are now able to go through the parenting mentor program together as a congregation to stir up deep biblical conversations around raising children, to help disciple parents and equip them in how to raise kids in this world. Because we recognize that this is something that, you know, elders and pastors are spending a lot of time on, probably, or at least they’re getting a lot of questions and parents are feeling really like needing help. So we wanted to make it available for congregations. But we also have just revamped one of the courses that I wrote. It’s a Bible study called Cultivating Biblical Friendships. And on that same page you have an opportunity to go through that with women in your church as well, to to develop deeper relationships in your congregation. And she said.

She wrote it, but it’s 26 videos, so it’s really robust. But they’re bite sized pieces and 5 to 8 minutes each. And so it’s really easy to digest and snack on and go and come back to and it’s deep and right to the point and really, I think revolutionary. And it uses so much scripture. The reason I know so much about it is because originally I knew a lot, but recently I was part of the project to revamp it into the technology we want to be using in alignment with the rest of the ministry. So it’s really an incredible course and it will help with this at a deep level. But obviously the podcast is super helpful. This episode is going to be really helpful, but if you want a deep dive and do it with other people, even that Bible study, that Bible study the course, that’s a great option. So you can find out they’re by no stretch of the imagination do you have to do these courses with the church. But now there’s a church option. They’re also purchasable individually. So, hey, remember, we’re a ministry that supports itself through providing amazing resources, biblically based resources and awesome coffee and future other things to support our ability to give as much free content away that impacts the people in the world and families in the world. And ultimately the goal is 10 million legacy. So whether you pray for us purchase, just share about us. Give us five star reviews. Joining the app, which is premium. There’s a little bit of a cost, but the value is far greater. I mean, it is so meaningful and it’s how we’re able to do this. So we’re going to dive into some more free content here.

That’s right. So you guys, this is a conversation, you know, that if you if you have someone on your mind, like here we are talking about developing deep friendships, maybe that title has spurred you on to think of a couple people that you would like to get to know better. Maybe there’s someone at your church that you feel like, Wow, we must be raising our kids. So similarly, I really am hungry for friendship. I wish that I had a way to get to know her better. If you have thought that thought at any point, or maybe you’re someone who has struggled with feeling isolated or lonely and even maybe depressed because you’ve lost some friendships in the last three years, can I just say, Hey, listen, lots of people have been through this Friendship division issue, if you will, in the last three years, right? Isaac Absolutely. I think that.

The enemy is trying to create that all over the world, is trying to, whether people are believers or not, is trying to just isolate people.

Just the sheer amount of people who’ve changed churches alone in the last three years should show you that there has been friendship changes. Because the truth is, is even if you intend to stay friends with people when they aren’t going to the same church as you, you’re you’re not doing life together on a regular basis. You’re literally not seeing each other every single week anymore because they’re going to a different place. And that makes a big difference on friendships. It just does. Whether. You want it to or not. And so the reality is that lots of people are in your shoes. I don’t want you to feel alone or like you’re the only one that is going through this. This is something that we get asked a lot. In fact, recently I just started sharing a little bit more content about the online course just in reels and different things. And I’ve had a lot of people say, Hey, I’m a mom of five and I don’t feel like I have time for friends. How do you find time and asking that question? People are really hungry for this, so I share that with you because I hope you know that there are people like you who are intentional parents who are pouring into their relationships with their husbands and their kids and their churches that still feel this hole and this need, which can really needs to be filled by biblical friendships.

Yeah. So we’ll dive into this. Yes. You know, the first one God gave us our where we live our homes, right? No matter what it looks like, you know, we might be renting, we might own we’ve gone in and out of that based on financial circumstances in our marriage. Oh, we have. But regardless of the situation, the one thing that’s kept the same is we’ve been committed to hospitality. Yeah.

Regardless of if we owned a home or were renting. And I think that that’s just because of our own personal biblical conviction of how hospitality is a key component to being able to partner with God in the Great Commission. I mean, if you think about where people feel safe to be real, to be honest, to be transparent, to go deeper, to ask for prayer, to share hard things. And can I just say even continue parenting biblically. I know that a lot of people we get messages about this from parents who like, take their kids on vacation or go to the zoo and they feel like they have so many people’s eyes on them that when their kids are having a meltdown, they’re like, what do I do in front of a whole bunch of people? And the truth is, is when you choose to open up your home and practice hospitality and let people into your life and they come over for a playdate, let’s say, with their kids, they’re going to feel a little bit more comfortable to be consistent, to continue doing what they’re called to do with their kids and raising their children up in the admonition of the Lord. And if your home can provide a place for fellowship. That’s amazing. And especially if it’s a place that can provide fellowship where people feel comfortable to be real and to be who they really are. And so our first point in four ways to develop deep friendships is hospitality.

Yeah, One of those things for us has been to make sure we have folding chairs because we literally don’t have enough furniture to for our big family plus more unless we made our home adaptable. So think on a practical level is how can you inexpensively make it adaptable and have some more opportunity for people to sit down and things like that. So don’t be limited by sometimes it’s not resources, sometimes it’s some simple fixes that enable you to have more people over. At least a big family has to think about that. Yeah, yeah, for sure.

I think too feeding people is something that people think about a lot in regards to like, Oh, how can I feed that many people? Or what if they have eating intolerances and I don’t know how to cook dairy free or gluten free or whatever it is? There’s so many things today that I think potentially can be a stumbling block for women specifically because I would say that we are we take on the Hostess role as far as providing food and refreshments and making sure everybody’s comfortable. And and I think that this is an important conversation for men to hear because if they are not like allowing their wives to feel like their homes are equipped for hospitality, then clearly they’re not going to practice it.

And sometimes us guys can have a poor attitude about it. I’m just going to be honest. I mean, I remember early in our marriage seasons in and out of that, there was a season where that was kind of one of the roles at a church. Where we were going to is to do hospitality. We were in charge of hospitality nights and having new couples over. And so then I’m like, okay, I’m on board, let’s do it. And, you know, but I had to I had to ramp myself up for that, right? Because it wasn’t a natural muscle I wanted to pull. And that was like.

20 years ago.

Yeah. And that was fun. That was fun for a season. But there was times too, where I’m just tired. I’m hustling, I’m working hard, and. But you know what I can remember? I would say that too often you can say it once in a while, but if it becomes the trend, then really you’re not into hospitality, you’re not supporting your wife, you’re not supporting your family, frankly, in developing strong relationships with people. And it takes doing that to find the like minded ones and the ones you click with and and you run the race with. And sometimes you’re really surprised. You know, we have to be careful not to judge too quickly about who we think we could be great friends with, to hospitality is a way just to love people in general and through that process, discover those people that we can run closer with.

Right. And I think that too, you know, when we’re opening up our homes for hospitality, like you’re what you’re really doing. I’ve described this to Isaac quite a few times recently that like women who are committed to being the maker of their homes or the keeper of their homes, the gatekeepers, if you will, there’s there’s three different titles that are biblical for women. And when you’re making your home, you’re like setting the atmosphere, your building a place that is going to be conducive to all the things that you’re passionate about. Right? Like, for me, we homeschool, so obviously I want an atmosphere that is going to help be conducive to learning, and I want to be able to have my books available. And I want, you know, like I love learning. I love pointing my kids to those books, taking even other people to books that were encouragements to me when they asked me questions on specific topics when I am practicing hospitality. And so like, what is it that you’re passionate about, that what you would potentially like decorate your home with or or at least practically have available readily available at your fingertips so that you can do the things that are most important to you or the things that you feel God’s called you to. And when you practice hospitality and you let someone into your home, especially for that first time, what you’re really doing is you’re inviting them into your life. You’re you’re sharing your heart that you’ve built your home, like you’ve poured your heart into building your home, right? And you’re letting them into that.

So it’s like you’re letting them into a part of your heart and your home, for you should should be a safe place. And if it’s a safe place for you, then it can be offered as a safe place for other people. And I just even think about like there’s this real truth that women within a family really set the atmosphere of a home in the biblical French. Of course, one of the things we talk about is that women also set the culture and highly influenced the culture in the church because we’re the ones that are really, truly serving when it comes to hospitality, which is where people grow deeper in relationship and think about home groups being fostered and just different relationships. Right? And and so we need to understand that that is part of our jurisdiction, that God’s given us that awesome gift to be able to share that with people. But like we should be proud of, of what we have built and because we’ve put our heart into building it. And when we bring people into that, it’s like we’re saying, Hey, here, this is part of who I am, and you’re sharing transparently, like you’re not hiding. You’re like, Oh yeah, well, sorry about my mess. You don’t even need to say that. Can I can I just encourage you that you don’t need to apologize about the shoes? That’s one of the things I feel like I’m always apologizing. We have a lot of shoes.

There’s always shoes somewhere.

But it’s. But truthfully, like, their shoes are always in our entryways on the back patio because there’s so many of us and we’re working and it’s a farm and. And it’s okay. I think that if you’re going to have the type of open door policy that we’ve tried to have with a lot of people, people are going to show up. And yeah, there might be a few shoes at the door and that’s got to be okay.

Well, first Peter, four eight through nine says, Above all, keep loving one another earnestly. Since love covers a multitude of sins, show hospital ality to one another without grumbling as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace in the chickens are joining me, if you can hear them. But they are up near the window, just, you know, checking us out, seeing what we’re doing. I’m not sure why, but you might hear them today.

Yeah, you might hear them pecking or you’re going to hear the rooster crowing.

But what a great scripture. And, you know, we’re supposed to show hospitality, and I like that. It covers a multitude of sins right before that time together. It makes it easier to overlook offenses the Bible directs us to do because you love people, because you love people, and you get to know more about them, a more full contextual understanding of who they are, which makes you realize, Oh yeah, that was no big deal. Look at look, these are great people.

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I do think that there’s an element to like when you’re with someone in their home, there is a real, um, exhortation. I may use the word exhortation for people to be honest and transparent. And let me, let me just share a little brief like what I mean by that. So I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a conversation with someone that you’ve just met and you feel like every time you share something that you’re doing, they seem to come back with, Oh yeah, I’m doing that too. And whether it may be true or not, actually, and that can be, you know, having people into your life and hospitality when you’re sharing those things like, you know for sure if it’s if there’s truth or exaggeration or just trying to be relatable. Sometimes when people get nervous, they try to relate by going, Oh yeah, me too. I love houseplants too, when really they they might love houseplants, but they actually only have one houseplant, you know what I mean? Versus like when you’re sharing about like one of the things you’re really passionate about and maybe you have 30 of them at your home. Right? And so there’s a there is a difference there. And it’s okay that there’s differences and we should value those differences in one another and like be able to see those things that different people are good at and call those things out in each other and be encouraging about it and be like, Wow, you’re really you have an eye for design. Your home is so well decorated. Like, have you ever walked into a home and you noticed that right away and you’re like, Wow. And you you should say like, you should encourage your sister in that. Or maybe you go to someone’s home who does have 20 or 30 houseplants that look healthy and they’re doing great. And maybe that’s something you struggled with. Well, that takes call it out.

It takes being a good finder versus having a critical spirit. And if you’re having a difficult time or you feel lonely, you know, I wonder if you have a critical spirit. You know, sometimes those that have a critical spirit about themselves, they project that on other people. And if you’re a good finder, you tend to be a good finder even about yourself in a good, humble way. Then you tend to be that way towards others too. And so maybe just do some self-reflection and this is for the guys and gals is for all of us. It’s just to think about what are we projecting on other people and is that attracting good people to want to run the race with us, or is it an obstacle?

Yeah, I mean, it’s huge and it requires taking a look in the mirror, really, which we’re going to talk about here in just a second. But in James five, chapter five, verse 16, here’s some encouragement for you guys, says, therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. I just love that because this is the thing. If someone doesn’t share their struggle, doesn’t confess their sin, doesn’t share what they need prayer for. Are you going to know what to pray for? No, You’re not going to know. Not unless you’re you. Someone else comes to you like their husband or their daughter comes to you and tells you. Right. Like you’re not going to necessarily know. Now, some things can be obvious. You can tell if someone’s looking a little bit sad or depressed, and then you might be able to ask them, Oh, are you sure you’re okay? You look kind of down today and maybe spur them on to being transparent and real with you. But this is a huge part of going deeper and developing deep relationships is that you would not be so prideful that you wouldn’t be able to confess your sins to a friend and ask them to pray for you. And and sometimes it just feels good to get it off your chest, right. To confess it. And and that’s what this scripture is talking about, is that these two things go together. If someone confesses to you something that they’re struggling with, do not miss that opportunity to pray for them. That is what the exhortation in verse 16 is saying here is.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. Those two things go together. And so sometimes biblical friendships don’t get cultivated because though people have a good heart intention and maybe they’re even good about being transparent and they’ll share their dirty laundry, maybe even their spouses dirty laundry, which is a big no no. And they’ll share their kids dirty laundry. Or maybe they’ll share their husbands and their kids, but they don’t share theirs, which is also a big no no. The problem is, is that when that happens and then it’s someone feels this like, oh, maybe I should make try to make her feel better by relating to her. Then begins the commiseration talk time. Right? Which can be a pity party, if you will. It can also be a very dangerous place. This is not how biblical friendships are developed. Biblical friendships would be someone confessing their own personal sin and then the other person praying for them, not confessing their husband’s sin, and then them complaining about their husband to try to make the other person feel better. Do you see the difference? The first one is biblical. Confess your own sin and pray for one another. The other one would be more what I would say is worldly. And so and I’m not saying that you don’t go to people to have help to get counsel in situations, but you need to be honoring of your spouse because they should be your best friend and you guys together. If there is an issue in your marriage, you should be together getting help.

I know whenever my wife is with other women that I am not going to be poorly talked about and I really appreciate that. And I think you know that about me too.

Yeah. And I think that there for us, part of that is that like our friendship, we have that best friendship going on to where we don’t let those offenses turn into something that would be a temptation for gossip. We deal with them. We deal with things.

On a daily basis. You know, it reminds me of the vineyard. And, you know, we did a vineyard a long time ago, 1284 plants or so. And she always knows the exact number, but whatever. What’s interesting about the vineyard is on the watering them and the roots. And because if you if you water often it keeps the roots shallow because they don’t have to go deep. They don’t have to dig through and go through the terroir and the rocks and so forth and and be stressed a little bit and get uncomfortable to break through and get down deep. And so they just stay up there. And that’s that reminds me of friendships where they don’t get transparent, where they just shallow, where they’re.

Just going and doing fun things together.

So it’s just shallow talk, It’s shallow. So those roots never go deep in friendship. And there’s also it’s a little bit safe, right, Because there’s not discomfort and things like that. But do you know that there will never be grapes that produce good, high quality wine with shallow roots? It takes deep roots to develop a good product in the same way in a friendship, it takes going deep, risking being a fool, sometimes risking getting uncomfortable asking questions, bringing up topics, discussing things and speaking truth in love, stubbing your toes sometimes, but over time, developing deep roots together. And that produces better fruit just like the vine. And so I think it’s just a perfect example in the vineyard. It is.

And I mean, we could go into more analogies regarding the vineyard, even regarding pruning and how God prunes us so that we can bear better fruit.

And and if you have too much fruit, then it won’t. It produces only limited energy, so you just need to cut some fruit off so you can have all that energy go into that. And that’s the same thing with friendships, which is, you know, sometimes, you know, we have too many.

Yeah, actually, this is a conversation that we were talking about at the very beginning before we started even recording today’s podcast. I think it’s worthy to say, I think that sometimes women especially probably I mean, I don’t know, maybe there’s some men that struggle with this, too. But I know that a lot of women have over the years, when they were going through the biblical friendship course, this was one reoccurring theme is that people believed this lie, that they wanted to have many friends and they didn’t see that there was this struggle of being able to go deep simply because they were spread too thin. Like, if you think about it, how deep can you go with 20 people compared to three? Right. And and Jesus even made this distinction, too. I mean, he didn’t have a wife or children. He had 12 disciples. And I and I think that he limited himself even within that time with the ones that he spent more time with as well. There was definitely a more beloved one that he spent more time with. And and I think that we, as wise women need to understand that like we’re human and we only have a certain amount of hours in our day and we need to be wise with who we spend our time with, especially in seasons where we are in a season of pouring out. Like this is a message for especially those moms that have kids that are still at home. There are seasons in motherhood where it is more appropriate to be able to serve more people. And there are seasons in motherhood where it’s not appropriate because it would actually be sacrificing your family and sacrificing your marriage to be pouring into too many people or or even giving too much of yourself to 1 or 2 people that maybe are really high needs.

And so I just want to exhort you, actually, because we have our first jurisdictions, which is our marriage and our children, and those are relationships that God ordained for us. And I truly, truly believe that any ministry and that includes friendship, friendship should be a ministry, just as your children are your ministry, your marriage is your ministry. So is friendship. And and the truth is, is that if God has called us to something, if he is called us to a ministry in friendship with specific people, it’s not going to damage or sacrifice your marriage or your children. In fact, if it’s a biblical friendship, it should actually encourage you as a homemaker, as a wife, as a mother. And so there is there’s a need for people even right now for you to take off the rose tinted glasses and do a really clear evaluation. Does this friendship actually grow me deeper to Christ? Are they good at talking about deep things that are going to challenge me to grow in my relationship with the Lord, to be a better wife, to be a better mom? Or do they tempt me to be more selfish? Do they tempt me to be discontent with the life I have? Do they tempt me to commiserate with them or to gossip? There are so many things that could potentially be temptations.

And hey, wherever our jurisdictions are, I think of guys were to protect, provide love. Well, you know if I said it really simply lead biblically, you know, and those kinds of things. But sometimes when the the the problem is competition, I mean, if you look at any of those gone too far, it can we can get competitive with each other. Let’s take provision for a second with men. I think that that can be a dangerous place. It’s like the thing that we’re supposed to do. We could over pride ourselves in. And then what happens in relationships is it becomes this silent competition of trying to show how well of a provider you are and then other person feels like they’re in this competition. You can name the thing, but I really think it’s important. There’s two sides of this that I think hurt relationships. One is insecurities. So I think a lot of times that can come from an insecurity when we get competitive with each other, Whatever the issue is, we’re competitive about not talking, playing sports and things like that. That’s awesome. But I’m talking about a competitive lifestyle wise things wise, like keep.

Up with the Joneses, that kind of what they called it. And it’s the.

Opposite of bringing it up because that’s the opposite. That is a detractor from that relationship, being able to be transparent, real and honest, and instead we should rejoice for each other. I, I really those are the friendships that I draw closer to is when people rejoice for what God’s doing with us and our family and me. And when I’m rejoicing and what they’re doing, there’s not there’s no competition. It’s even if someone is doing better or in a certain area, I rejoice. I authentically rejoice in that. And I think that brings closeness. And so one is insecurity. The other one is kind of the maybe the alpha male scenario, which is the the leaders. And I think leaders need to learn how to lead together, not lead our families together by any stretch of the imagination, but be able to do things together without one or the other always being in control. And I think that is a is a dance that guys need to get. Good at two, just top of my mind. So not having competition coming from insecurities and not having it come from always having to be the one in control and, you know, hang out times and things like that.

So and I would say for women, want to.

Take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one sheet. It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night to just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to courageous Parenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at Courageous Parenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at Courageous Parenting.com.

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We have an entire chapter or unit in the online course. On this particular topic is a comparison trap where we talk about competitiveness and again, not in the sense of like spurring one another unto good works, because that is a biblical concept that we should be spurring one another onto good things. But part of that is being able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and also being able to mourn with those who are mourning. Right. And recognizing the the differences in the two and asking ourselves the hard question, am I good at rejoicing with other women when something good happens? And if not, why is that? Is it an insecurity in me? Do I always have to be the center of attention? Do I do I feel jealous? Do I struggle with coveting? Like these are questions that a woman should be asking if she struggles with rejoicing? Now, for the woman who struggles with mourning, with someone who’s grieving, I would say why is it that I’m struggling with grieving with that person? Does it bring up issues from my past that I have not given to God, have not fully healed from, and understanding that that bondage from my own past experiences or from believing a lie that I can’t relate to someone unless I’ve gone through what they’ve gone through. Recognizing what it is is key and then going back and dealing with the issue. Because there are so many things in this life that could potentially create bondages that are that enslave different people. And that’s what the enemy wants for us to be actually truly activated in the Holy Spirit, focused on the Great Commission and the purposes that God put us here for in our relationships cannot be fully experienced until we are not in bondage.

Right? And so we need brothers and sisters in Christ, in our relationships to call out those things, to remind us of who we are. When we start believing the lies and we get stuck in the bondage. And if we walk away from that, we are walking away from freedom. We’re walking away from being able to actually experience full healing. That is by the power of the Holy Spirit simply because God is using, guess what the body of Christ in flesh here on Earth to help with the healing process. So as we’re talking about this concept of being transparent and being real and being honest with one another, I want to share this scripture with you guys. This is such a I love this scripture, and I do share a book by Roy Hession called The Calvary Road. I just want to I’m just throwing that out there because I absolutely love that book. I’ve read it probably 8 or 9 times in the last 23 years. It’s an oldie but a goodie. But first, John, he goes through all of first John in his book. But I just want to read to you the Bible, which is first John, chapter one, verse six through nine. It says, If we say we have fellowship with him, God, while we walk in darkness, we.

We lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus, His son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. And the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful. And just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And then it just continues down. The whole book of First John is really, truly about this. And it’s important because when we’re walking in fellowship with people, we need to recognize that like, hey, we’re all in the same playing field. For all have fallen short of the glory of God. And there is no who is greater in the Kingdom of heaven because our works don’t get us there. We’re all justified through Jesus Christ. Amen. Amen. And so recognizing that is crucial, like biblical friendship has to be based on that one, that biblical truth of who Jesus Christ is in our life and who we are now because of who He is and what he did for us. When our relationships are based on that foundation and that truth, then there isn’t this competitive, this unhealthy, competitive, like trying to be better than on all the things that are not eternal. Can I just say that out loud? Like those like how you provide for your family? Like God says, it’s important for a man to provide for his family.

If you’re competing, if you’re competing against each other, you can’t help each other.

No, you should be teaming up and working together and helping one another. And like you guys, biblical friendship that is centered around like really, truly wanting what’s best for your brother or sister in Christ is completely different than this arm wrestling rat race game of what you see of co-worker friends in the in the secular world that are willing to throw each other under the bus just to get a promotion, because that’s the reality of the world, right? And so, like, having real friends is needed, even if you are in the rat race in a.

Sense, right? So a test is how can you help someone if you see someone that’s a potential friend that you want to go deeper with, maybe look for a way to help them, Maybe you have a tool they could they could borrow or maybe you could go help, you know, with landscaping, with your sons or these kinds of things. And I just think that is a beautiful way. I think that just happened to me recently. A gentleman brought his son over and helped us clear part of the property where we’re going to put gardens, and that did bring us closer. That was a beautiful thing, you know, Love that well.

And I think, too, for me, one of the things is I’m always willing to help. And I think a lot of women are like that where if they see a need, they’re like, oh, I’ll bring you a meal. Oh, I’ll go get at the grocery store. Oh, do you need anything? We’re all quick to say women are help, but what we’re not good at is asking for help or receiving help, right? Like so many women struggle with this independent spirit of like, Nope, I can do it myself. I got it. I’m good. Don’t let people in. And it’s this facade, this false front of I have it all together or wanting to portray that when in reality, like why? Why do we even have to do that? I know that that’s something that I have gone in and out of over my lifetime of struggling with being able to ask for help or being more willing to receive help. And God’s really put me in some boot camps over my life. Like being on bed rest was hugely humbling and I felt like such a failure as a mom. But in that time, what was sweet about it is that God taught me the blessing that I was able to give to the women who were coming into my home because they were able to obey God’s command, to carry one another’s burdens and love one another in that way. And here I was. I had this huge I had a burden, really. I needed help in my home. I needed help with my with everything because I was on bed rest.

And these women who were retired and grandmas, they come in and they loved it. It gave them purpose. It gave them something to do and like to see that before my eyes and to see them like thriving and being that Titus two woman that’s helping my kids to, like, find the pigweed so that we can put it in the blender for mom, the amaranth. It’s going to help her, you know, like it was just really sweet, all the things that our kids learned from those older women. But you guys, it was super humbling for me to be able to even ask for help. And and during that time, there have been other times in my life to where God has really allowed me the opportunity to once again go, okay, I can’t do this. I need help. Like when we lost Selah and I was so blessed by the women in our church coming in and cleaning my home and doing those things because I was on bed rest and like. But this is the thing. If I would have had that false front and not been willing, then I would have missed out on deeper friendships with them and they would have missed out on deeper friendship with me, like we would have missed out together. And so I say that because it’s not just you. That suffers when you don’t ask for help. It’s that they also don’t get the benefit of having a deeper relationship and being able to obey God and something he’s called them to.

Amen. Okay, we’ve got like six scriptures left. A couple really important points. And so we’re going to do Rapid fire here as we close this episode out. But I just want to say something I think I probably heard one time, but someone that talks about themselves all the time is boring and somebody that talks about others is a gossip and somebody that talks about ideas and what they’re learning is interesting. I love that quote. And so, you know are you interesting? A gossip are boring. Yeah. And I think that’s good to kind of think about that because it’s hard to build relationships if you’re the boring or gossip. And it doesn’t mean you’re someone that’s introverted and, you know, not super social and bubbly, outgoing can be not boring. It’s not about how much you talk. It’s about what we talk about. And I think that’s so important. In fact, introverted people sometimes are super great because they’re great listeners and outgoing people are super great because they’re great at talking. It just depends what we’re all talking about. Yeah, and so that’s important.

Well, it is important because if you’re building biblical friendships, then you want your friendship to be based on biblical truth, right? And so whatever it is you’re talking about, as long as it goes back to being true and being good and being lovely and being pure, all those things that God commands us to focus on in Philippians four, I think that there is a challenge for us, especially women, because I think women struggle with their tongues more than others. And I say that based upon a lot of scriptures that are very convicting where God warns women not to become busybodies. There’s one right there. Go look that one up. But I, I share this because when you’re in the season of growing together, like Isaac is talking about, like relationships, really, they either grow or they are receding. There’s no in between. We talk about this regarding marriage. When we when we’ve done our marriage podcast and the true that is true for any relationship. Think about your relationship with God. If you’re not pursuing him, you’re not growing in your relationship with God. If you’re not reading the word and finding out more about who he is and like you, just you lose track of his heart.

And it’s the same with other people. And so that’s honestly like for me as a mom of many, and now that I have older kids, I am wanting to invest more in those relationships because those are friendships also. And I find myself in a place where I really have to be careful with where I spend my time. And so if there are a few people that I get together with like that’s special in its own right because I’m like being very careful and wise with who I spend my time with. And I would just encourage you women to do the same. Like when you get together and you’re growing and you’re talking about what you’re learning is what you’re learning. If you were to filter it through the word of God, would it be okay or would it be leading someone astray? And that’s that’s really important. Or is it like making an idol out of something or tempting a brother or sister to sin? Like there’s so many aspects that we as Christians need to be aware of.

You know, you think about sharpening one another is there has to be a level, a deep enough level of relationship to be able to sharpen one another. And so I think a big backfire is when there isn’t a relationship and we try and sharpen somebody. And so it reminds me like if you have a knife, you know, and you’re sharpening it on a wheel, you’re controlling the knife. But we don’t control people, right? So if we try and sharpen a person, they will just move away, right. And disappear. Right. And so I think that’s the wrong mentality. The right mentality is growing in relationship. And once that relationship is deep enough, we can share truth and love with each other as long as you’re willing to receive it, too. And if proven that, then you’re going to be able to do that. But it’s all in the right timing. We are to sharpen one another, but that scripture is also there because it’s assuming that you have relationship with one, that you’ve.

Invested in people and that you’ve shown that you love them, that you accept them, but that you want them to grow. Like there’s this lie that has seeped into the church today that’s accept me as I am and I don’t need to grow, right? We actually even just talking about this at church on Sunday and I this is something that I have seen seep into the church versus being willing to say what Jesus said, which is go and sin no more. And that is when people experience healing, that’s when change happens in their life. That’s when the Holy Spirit, where there’s Holy Spirit breakthrough, right? And understanding that when we’re in fellowship with one another, when we’re actually walking together, this iron sharpening iron, which is what Isaac’s talking about, I just want to read that verse is Proverbs 2717 says, Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. This is one of the biblical purposes for friendship. And if that can’t happen in your friendship going both ways, then you really need to have a realistic perspective on that friendship. Maybe that friendship. You can stay friends, but you just have a realistic perspective of that person’s not going to really challenge me much or they aren’t willing to be challenged by me, or.

You just did not discern that it wasn’t good timing. And you need to build a closer relationship to be able to do that.

But I think that there’s also an element of like when you think about first Corinthians 13 and what God says, love is patient. Love is kind long suffering. That word long suffering is something that a lot of people don’t really talk about. And understanding that sometimes God puts those people into your life so that you grow in character of growing and long suffering with people. But at the same time, can I just say that those friendships that are there, you need to discern them. You actually are called to judge, especially if they’re they’re Christian. You need to judge that relationship from the perspective of is this person going to help me grow or are they going to tempt me to become less of a the person that God has called me to be? Another aspect is when you have friendships and you’re a mom, then your friendships are going to influence your children. So you need to judge. Do I want this person influencing my children because they’re not willing to be sharpened because I can’t come to them and say, Hey, I’m concerned about X, Y, and Z. If they don’t want to listen to that, or if I’m like, let’s say we’ve been walking in relationship for over a year and we’ve been pouring into people, loving them, and then you confront about something and they don’t take it, then that in my mind, like I would take a step back because if if they have influence on your kids and they’re not willing to hear correction, they’re not willing to be encouraged or exhorted biblically, then that relationship isn’t really standing firm on the foundation of biblical truth. And so there is a need for us in both. And this goes the other way too. Like if you’re not willing to receive biblical correction, then you need to be humble about it and recognize the truth that’s being presented to you biblically and go, Oh wow, I didn’t realize that. Or, Oh, I’m convicted by that. Thanks for telling me. Like we both ways, the relationship has to go both ways. Yeah.

So growing together can be serving together, praying together, talking about what you’re learning can be doing life together. It could be farming together. Lots of different things, helping each other on each other’s properties. It can be.

Serving her at a birth or taking a meal when the kids are sick or helping with homeschooling, taking them on field trips.

And why does this all matter? Because some people I know listening are, you know, I’m kind of okay with not too many friends. You know, everything gets problematic when I try and do that. Well, hopefully you’re listening because that’s the wrong perspective. But but another reason is that how in the world are you going to give your children guidance in building authentic biblical relationships if you’re, you know, saying, I don’t want that or you’re not having success with it, It’s really important that we work this muscle. We become good at it for all kinds of reasons, for ourselves, but also for our family and modeling it for our children and being able to give them wise counsel and being able to see a lot. I think a lot of parents can’t see the problems in their children’s friendships because those same problems exist and haven’t been embraced in their own friendships.

Even think of Matthew seven, where it talks about removing the plank from your own eye before you can do surgery and remove the speck from your brother’s eye. That applies to parenting in that regard, right? If they’ve struggling with friendships themselves for a long time, then they can’t help the kid who’s struggling in a friendship. Ephesians chapter four, verse 15, and then 25 and 29. I just want to share these with you guys. Verse 15 says, Rather speaking Truth in love. We are to grow up in every way into him. Who is the head into Christ from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped. When each part is working properly, it makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. This is so important that speaking truth and love is like this is one reason why God designed friendship and he talks about the body of Christ and we have to be willing to say the hard things and point things out and say, Hey, but I still love you and I’m here for you. But this is dangerous, right? Like, I even think a Jude that talks about pulling someone out of the fire, but verse 25 says, therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. And then verse 29, it says, Let no corrupting talk. Come out of your mouths, but only such is good for building up as it fits the occasion that it may give grace. To those who hear.

It reminds me of our last point, which is to be biblical. It is so important that we are building each other up in a biblical way. Other scripture says to stir up the gifts amongst each other, and it speaks to that. And I just think it’s so important. How can we be that good finder that looks for the strengths in other people in building them up? I think that’s so important.

You know, dealing with offenses biblically, Isaac just even mentioned, like some people may even be thinking, I only want a couple people in my life because whenever I whenever there’s more people, there seems to be a little more drama. Can I just say it’s because we’re human? Humans are. They’re sinful. They’re we have human nature that we’re dealing with here. Right. And so we need to have a realistic perspective that when we add someone to our life, it’s not going to be all roses all the time. There’s going to be hard things that you walk through in life. But I guarantee you that if you’re both biblical, it’ll make you grow, just as your marriage does. Just as your parenting does, because it’s called sanctification, right? So it’s important that we deal with offenses biblically. We kind of talked about that a little bit earlier, but part of that is also holding one another accountable. That is one of the main reasons why God designed friendships, right? Yeah.

First, Peter 3839 says finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. Humble mind. A tender heart. Unity of mind. Sympathy, brotherly love. Tender heart. Gents, we have to have tender hearts, not competitive hearts. Tender hearts we have in what we choose to talk about. Do we have a humble mind? Are we talking just about ourselves? Or are we engaging in conversation to learn about others? And then go beyond that and talk about ideas, experiences, biblical concepts, theology. You know how to be a better dad. What we’re learning about being a better husband. You know, what we learn at church last week, how that’s impacted you this week, what we’re praying about, prayer requests, praying for each other. I mean, you know, you got to be it if you want it. That’s right. So are you it or are you just wanting it? So we got to start being it. Start being what you want in your relationship. Be that for other people. It starts with you. You can’t just wait around and go, What was me? Why don’t I have friends? Just start being what you want others to be to you.

So you know this topic of being biblical, the last point that we have in this section goes with Jesus’s words in John 17, verse 22 and 23. So you can flip there if you have your Bibles. But beliefs and being of sound mind and being unified, I would say that in the last three years we’ve seen more division in the church than we’ve seen, at least in the American church in a very long time. And there while I do believe that division grieves the father’s heart deeply, because think about how grieved you are when you see your children fighting. Okay. I’m sure that that is deeply disturbing to the Lord. I can’t I just can’t even imagine. But at the same time, I, I do believe what his word says regarding end days and that there will be brother that rises up against brother and and there’s a sifting, if you will. People have been talking about this for a long time. Right. And so not I just want to encourage you guys that in the name of unity do not. Do not overlook the importance of biblical truth and understanding that we’re not supposed to be denying. We should not be allowing teachings that deny Christ in the name of unity. Instead, we need to be firm in the faith and firm in biblical truth and what the Bible says and and be building our relationships upon that. And the reason why we need that more than ever is because that is how God is going to be glorified, and that’s how the great Commission is going to go forth into all the world. Jesus says it here in chapter 17, verse 22.

The glory that you have given me, I have given to them that they may be one, even as we are one I in them and you and me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. This is so important because when we are actually unified on on Christ and on biblical truth, and then we’re able to be walking truly in unity in a way that is going to be a light and a testimony to the world. And we will be strong together as a body that works together, not with an arm going one direction and an arm going a different direction. And I, I believe that this is what part of what God desires for his church when he says that he wants his church to be blemish free, that means there will not be offenses and divisions on things that are biblical truth. And so Jesus is high. Priestly prayer was for us to be experiencing unity. And so there is an element where that needs to be a pursuit in a biblical friendship and that we have to be willing to even, you know, maybe walk away from some friendships if they are not willing to stand on biblical truth or let other people walk away, if they’re not willing to stand on biblical truth because. We cannot compromise. What God has called us to do. Because if we do that, then we aren’t actually going to be the light that he calls us to be in the world.

That’s what being a peacemaker really is. And so go listen to our Blessed Be a Peacemaker episode with Dr. Steve Crane. It was incredible what he was talking about. So I hope this was super helpful to you all. And of course, always be courageous. History.org all the free stuff, the show notes, podcast info and all the ways you can support the ministry too by getting an incredible value. So thanks for joining us.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening and being a part of the 10 Million Legacies movement. Go to be courageous ministry. Org For more biblically based resources Ways to switch where you spend your money that support the mission and information about the incredible be courageous app community for believers.

Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program.

Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video session with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program. We cover everything from tending to their hearts, handling obedience to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private group and the Be Courageous app, live webcasts and direct access to us.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program, secure your spot now at be courageous ministry.org. That’s be courageous ministry.org.


Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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