7 Ways to Come Alongside a Friend Struggling With Her Faith

7 Ways to Come Alongside a Friend Struggling With Her Faith

We all know what's it's like to struggle in our faith. Whether its doubt, heartbreak, or simple boredom, we all face seasons that test our faith in God. Which is why we can completely understand what it's like for a friend who may be going through the same thing. Still, it's not always easy to know what to say or do for a friend struggling with her faith. The best thing we can do is what Jesus does for us: come alongside her in this season so she doesn't have to do it alone. That's what friends are for, right? But what does coming alongside a friend who is struggling in her faith look like? Here are 7 ways to do just that.

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  • 1. Don't Judge

    Maybe your friend is struggling with sin, or doubt, or even apathy. Either way, the last thing she needs is for someone close to her to point the finger. Now is not the time to point out all that she is doing wrong. I know it's easy to think if we convict her of what may be distancing her from God she'll "get her act together" but that couldn't be further from the truth. Only the Holy Spirit can convict someone, it's simply not our job to do so.

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  • 2. Listen

    Instead of judging we need to do more listening. When sharing with your friend make sure not to do all the talking. It's easy to think we're helping by offering wisdom and advice but a true friend knows how to put aside all the right answers and truly listen to her friends heart. Ask her questions to show interest and let her know you're truly invested in helping her through this season by understanding what she is going through.

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  • 3. Don't ignore her difficult questions

    A quick "just have faith" response won't work here and your friend needs to know you understand the solution to her faith struggle goes deeper than a quick answer. When she asks difficult questions that may be the cause of her struggle listen and help in her search to find the answers. If you don't know the answer simply say that but acknowledge that her questions are valid and you're willing to help to the best of your ability.

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  • 4. Pray for her

    There is no more powerful a friend than a praying friend. You can't change your friend’s heart or provide solutions to all her questions but God can. So seek God in prayer on behalf of your friend and watch Him do what only He can in her life.

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  • 5. Keep Inviting her to Church

    She may not think so at the time but Church is good for a friend struggling in her faith so make sure the invitation is always open. It's good to be around others who share in the faith to be uplifted in ours. You don't have to press this point and guilt her into going to church but she should always know if she one day choose to go she is always welcome. 

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  • 6. Don't Only Invite Her to Church

    Church is great but make sure your friend is invited to more than just church. Get your nails done together, invite her over for coffee, simply be a friend. Just because your friend is struggling with her faith doesn't mean she stopped being your friend and is now a mission project for you. Trust me, if you treat her like a project she'll know and you'll lose her trust. Trust God with what only He can do in her life and be the friend He's calling you to be.

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  • 7. Speak the Truth in Love

    When the time comes to share a hard truth with your friend that's necessary for her to hear in this season be sure to speak the truth in love as Ephesians 4:15 tells us to do. The focus here is not on being right. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we point out her weakness but that we exalt the power God can have in her life. Speaking the truth in love does not mean we just remind her of where she's getting things wrong but who she is in Christ. We let her know that whatever she is struggling with God is greater and available to help her every need.

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    Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.