Friendship Struggles | How to confront a friend.

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Friendship is just hard sometimes, isn’t it? Do you ever just long for real, authentic friendships? I believe that there are so many lonely women out there who just long for friendships where you can just be you. A friendship that loves beyond flaws and one that fights for the well-being of each other. It can happen..it just takes work.

Friendship struggles are real! Do you ever just long for real, authentic friendships? I believe that there are so many lonely women out there who just long for friendships where you can just be you. A friendship that loves beyond flaws and one that fights for the well-being of each other.

Yesterday I talked about the simplicity of friendship and how to be a friend. Today I’m talking about having difficult conversations.

I’ve been reading the book of James in the Bible for the last couple of days. I love James. He just kinda says it like it is and while the book isn’t necessarily about friendship,  it has a wealth of wisdom and truth that can be applied to the adversity we face in friendship.

Because, you know…in any relationship including friendship you are going to have adversity. Why? Because we’re human and humans sin. Friendships will go through adversity because we're human & humans sin. #friendshipstruggles Click To Tweet

Those friendships that you see and covet? Yeah..they’ve gone through some stuff alright. Are you willing to have difficult, but honest conversations in order to have the friendship you so desire?

The struggle is real.

Confrontation. Ick. I  hate that word. And honestly I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than have to confront someone. But I also hate elephants.

Elephants. They’re just ugly. I mean let’s just be honest. They’re big and you can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try. They belong outside, in the fresh air, eating bugs and slurping up nasty pond water through their long noses and licking themselves and such.

Eew.

So if they’re supposed to be outside, than why do we allow them inside?

You get what I’m saying?

Elephants in a room…usually everyone knows they’re there, they just don’t want to address it. I HATE elephants in the room, and more than likely I’ll be the one to call it out if it’s appropriate because I just can’t stand them.

With that said, I believe there are times in any relationship that you just gotta let things go. 

Go ahead..friends of mine out there…say it… because I know it’s true about myself.. I have the hardest time letting things go!

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” 2 Timothy 2:23  In other words, never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut! Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut! -Louis L'Amour #friendshipstruggles Click To Tweet

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires, so get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” James 1:19-21

That tells me this: I need to be careful. I need to listen first, than speak. Sometimes I might have to say, “ya know, let me think about that and I’ll get back with you.” We just need to be careful with our words and pray about it and think it through, especially if we’re angry. Notice it does not say we can’t get angry.

Because we ARE going to get angry at times.  We just have to be careful.

It also says to get rid of all the filth and evil in our lives. We have to get rid of anything in our life that isn’t pleasing to Jesus and is causing clutter in our heart.

Jealousy. Pride. Self-loathing. Fear. Doubt. Betrayals suffered. Failures. Disappointments.

The list could go on but you get it.

I call it emotional garbage. Stuff that collects in our souls and hearts that just don’t need to be there and cause us to not live in the joy and freedom that Christ longs for us to have. All of that emotional garbage weighs us down. It not only weighs us down, it interferes with our relationships. It causes us to be self-centered and easily angered and offended. Get rid of emotional garbage so that you can have healthy friendships! #friendshipstruggles Click To Tweet

Friendship is one of the most beautiful relationships you will ever have.

 

So, how do we confront our friend?

Let’s talk about the word, CONFRONT, and the context in which I am speaking.

Merriam’s definition is this:

  • to oppose or challenge (someone) especially in a direct and forceful way

  • : to directly question the action or authority of (someone)

  • : to deal with (something, such as a problem or danger); especially : to deal with (something) in an honest and direct way

So, when I’m speaking of confrontation in this post, I’m talking about dealing with a problem honestly and directly; and the need to have a difficult conversation with a friend.

“Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind”. James 3:16 “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1

  • Pray

Then pray, and then after that pray again. Because when we pray, healing happens.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Pray for your friend. Pray that God will open her heart and let her receive what you have to say. Now listen to me..this is important so lean in. It won’t work if you don’t FIRST pray for God to search your heart and your motives. Pray for CHANGE in your own heart FIRST.

Pray for the situation. Pray for God to control your tongue. Just as James says above, our prayers have the power to heal and effect change. Do you get that? When you pray 1st, healing happens & it effects change! #friendshipstruggles Click To Tweet

Friendship is one of the most beautiful friendships you will ever have.

So. What’s next?

After you check your motives and pray, you may feel there is no longer a need to confront. The need may go away entirely.

BUT it may not… sometimes  things DO need to be talked about. Sometimes sweeping things under the rug only makes it worse.

I love honest and open conversations. I believe they have the power to bring relationships to the next level and I believe that through open and honest conversation, healing happens…but only if God is in the smack. dab. middle.

So go to that person.

In love.

  • Listen.
  • Speak slowly.
  • Lay aside ALL pride.
  • Apologize. (Oh, it wasn’t your fault? Yes it was. It’s always our fault. If a relationship is in conflict BOTH parties are responsible and at fault. Lay down pride and be humble.)

That’s all for today my friends. Next time I’ll talk about how to go deeper in your friendships. Be sure and subscribe below so you don’t miss it!

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. Also leave any prayer requests. I love praying for you!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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  1. lc says:

    Thank you for your wise words, Shannon. Please pray that I will surrender all my messed up relationships to God and allow Him to restore each of them. It’s been a long, difficult lesson for me!
    Blessings to you~♡

    • Shannon says:

      I will definitely pray. Once you surrender I assure you that God will bless and restore you. Cling to Isaiah 43:1-2, which in summary says “Do not fear, I have called you by name! You are mine and when you go through hard times I will be there.” He’s right there with you, waiting for your surrender!

  2. Keri says:

    I needed to read this today- thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  3. Shannon, I love your view on things! I, too, hate confrontation. But I may hate it more than the elephant, haha! But I agree, that it needs to be addressed, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the friendship posts 🙂

  4. MELANIE REDD says:

    What a great word, Shannon!
    To be at peace with all men and women, as far as possible! Love this.
    And, what practical steps to have the conversation. What a good word to always apologize.
    Nancy Leigh DeMoss says that broken people race to make things right with others – always taking responsibility for their part!
    Thank you for being a blessing~
    Melanie

  5. Shannon,
    I am a recovering confrontation avoider! Like you, I would have preferred to poke out my eyeballs! Thankfully, the Lord has done a great big work in me. His work is most certainly not over, but we have come a looooong way! Your tips are fabulous. So much truth here!

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  6. Joy says:

    Thank you Shannon. I love the way you encourage authenticity in friendships. Our female friends are treasures and blessings.

    • Shannon says:

      Hi there Joy! You are so right, they ARE treasures and blessings. I’m so thankful for mine! I’m also thankful that you stopped by to say hello! Have a great week:-)

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