Healthy Friendships IV (How To Keep Them)


Healthy Friendships IV:

How to Keep Them


What were the main points from Healthy Friendships III? (Why We Need Them)

Friends make:

1. sweet times better (celebration),
2. scary times more calm (trouble),
3. strenuous times more victorious (competition), and
4. sad times more joyful (encouragement).

You can’t be best friends with everyone, but you can be friendly to everyone. 🙂

What were the main points from Healthy Friendships II? (How to Make Them)

1. Use your eyes (look around and notice anyone in need of a friend)
2. Use your feet (walk over and approach them)
3. Use your mouth (words of kindness/friendliness)
4. Use your hands (invite them into an activity: e.g. hanging out, video games, lunch, etc.)

A. Collaborate with God (pray about who needs a friend)
B. Ask for Courage (to go and make a new friend)
C. Make the Choice (friendships don’t just happen on their own)
D. Who Wants Chocolate? (share some gifts with others)

What were the main points from Healthy Friendships I? (How to Strengthen Them)

1. Collaborate with God (Pray)! (John 17:9-11, 20-24)
2. Share More Chocolate! (John 13:34-35)

a. write a note telling what you like about your friend
b. compliment your friends on their appearance, grades, etc.
c. use some of your birthday money to get them a gift

3. Have Real Conversations!

a. ask questions (how was your weekend, etc.)
b. really listen!!!

4. Be a True Confidant! (Keep Secrets Well)

a. respect their privacy—no gossiping!
b. if your friend is in danger, do tell your parents.

Now we are going to finish up by learning how to keep friendships, how to help them survive when one person hurts the other (it’s more difficult than it sounds, trust me!). First, let’s talk about why some friendships end.

Question: What are some reasons that some friendships end?

Moving: out of the neighborhood or to a different school;
New Friends/Activities: your friend no longer spends time with you b/c of new sport/hobby;
Meanness: gossip, lying, the person “changes”/not the same anymore;
Betrayal: sharing a secret, stealing your boyfriend/girlfriend;
Jealousy: getting the part in a play or making a sports team instead of you;
Unforgiveness: you won’t accept your friend’s apology.

Main Point #1: Some friendships end because of something you can’t control (e.g. moving away)—and both friends remain friendly.

Response: remain friendly even if you can’t remain everyday friends (e.g. pray for that friend, maybe send emails or birthday cards, visit them, etc.)!

Main Point #2: Some friendships naturally end or change because of different interests or new people (e.g. moving up to high school or being on a new sports team)—don’t burn bridges!!!

Response: don’t let you’re anger or hurt feelings cause you to badmouth that person—understand that friendships change as we grow up. If you have been stung by losing a friend like this, then you understand how your parents feel. The way you treat them changes as you grow up, and it is oftentimes painful for your parents!

Practical Steps:

1. Pray and ask Jesus to help you to be kind to your friend;
2. Talk to your friend about this—communicate!!!;
3. Try and get to know the new group of friends;
4. Thank God for the friends you do have, and hang with them!

Main Point #3: Sometimes friendships unnaturally end because we have been mean to a friend, or because they have been mean to us. This happens, too. Be prepared for it; don’t be totally shocked by it. FORGIVE FORGIVE FORGIVE!!! ASK ASK ASK FOR FORGIVENESS!!!

Preparation: Let Jesus be your Best Friend!!! One of the reasons we get so hurt when one of our best friends betrays us is because we don’t think we can live without them. On some level we think we need them. But while friends are important, the only Person we truly need is Jesus, and He will never betray us!


1. If a friend has been mean to you, ask Jesus to help you to forgive them & be kind to them, even if they aren’t sorry!
2. Talk to your friend about this calmly—let them know you are hurt (if they won’t talk to you anymore and don’t care that you are hurt, then pray for them and be kind to them when you see them around. That’s really all you can do).
3. Tell Jesus about the hurt that you feel—He will comfort you!!!
4. Thank Jesus for the friends you do have, and go and be a great friend to them. Just don’t give up on friends in general because one friend has hurt you. Remember, we need healthy friends in this world!

Main Point #4: Jesus wants to be your best friend, and He perfectly does all of the steps that we have talked about over the last four weeks to be a great friend and to have a healthy friendship with you!

Let’s pray.


Discussion Questions

1. Know What?: Tell me something you learned from the lesson today.

2. So What?: Why is it important to apologize to your friends when you hurt them? Why is it important to forgive your friends when they hurt you?

[Possible Answer: Many friendships end because a friend has hurt another friend and won’t ask for forgiveness, or the other friend won’t forgive. But an eye for an eye “leaves everyone blind.” If we lose enough friends we will eventually be alone, and the Bible tells us that we need friends in this world for love, support, and protection.]

3. Now What?: What are you going to do this week to keep a friendship? Will you let Jesus be your Best Friend? If no, how come? If yes, how will you get to know Jesus better each day?

[Possible Answer:

A. I am going to forgive my friends if they hurt me, and I am going to ask for their forgiveness if I hurt them.
B. I will read the gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—to see what a great friend Jesus is.
C. I will talk to Jesus everyday, whether I am happy or sad.
D. I will invite Jesus into my activities, whether I am doing homework or playing sports/video games.
E. I will ask Jesus if I can be involved in His activities, with what
He is doing in the world.]

4. How What?: That sounds great, but it also sounds tough. How will you do that?

[Possible Answer:

A. Pray. Pray. Pray. Ask for your heavenly Father’s help, just like Jesus did in Luke 6:12-16. Ask Jesus to help me to forgive my friends if they hurt me, and ask Jesus to help me to ask for forgiveness if I hurt my friends.
B. Practice forgiveness over and over again. It will be difficult and awkward and weird at first, but it gets easier and it gets better!
C. Persevere—keep practicing!]