As a pro-life generation, we are called to be pro-all life. Tonight, Paul Masek and Rachel Leininger focused on how we can support the lives of our friends. We often have a front-row seat to see the struggles of those we love. Paul and Rachel explain six ways that we can help our friends and love them well during challenging situations.
1) Be open to the Holy Spirit.
Let’s face it: knowing what to say is hard. Fortunately, we don’t need to know what to say. For that, God sent us an Advocate. The Holy Spirit is there to give us the right words to say at the right time to say them. He fills in the gaps when we don’t know what to say to a friend in need. If you want to help your friends, be open to how the Holy Spirit wants to use you. Paul even suggested using this simple prayer: “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”
2) Be there for your friend.
Our world is so busy. Sometimes when our friends need us the most, we miss the moment because we are hiding behind a screen. In order to really help our friends, we have to show up, not behind a screen, but totally present.
3) Listen to your friend.
Beyond simply being present, we need to learn how to listen to our friends. To truly listen, that means we have to focus more on what the other person is saying than on how we want to reply. It isn’t easy, but it makes the other person feel wanted and loved.
It is often easy to underestimate the power of prayer, but God delights in your prayers. He even loves to answer them. Although His answers aren’t always exactly what we are looking for, He always provides what is best for us. He knows what we need and desperately wants to give that to us. We just have to ask.
5) Talk to a trusted adult.
We don’t always have all of the answers. Fortunately, we don’t need to. God put wonderful people into our lives that want to help us. Specifically, trusted adults often have more wisdom than we do in tricky situations and can point us toward resources that can really help people we know who are struggling. Sometimes it can be challenging to talk to these adults, but it is critically important. If a friend is suicidal, is being abused physically or sexually, is hurting himself or herself, or is being harmed by others (including being bullied), you need to tell a trusted adult so your friend can get additional help. Even in situations beyond these, people that are wiser than us can be excellent resources and provide a new point of view to help us love our friends.
If we practice these five things, we will be able to love our friends well when they need us the most.