About the Author

Julie Hunt is an assistant professor of social work where she teaches a range of courses. She is married to Dave who leads worship at their church as well as at conferences, camps and churches across the country. They have three children: Asher, Lainey and Lucy. She and her family...

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  1. Vulnerability. Not only having someone to lunch, or into my home, but letting them into my heart.

  2. One thing I’m learning through friendship is to be myself no matter what everyone else around me is doing because God loves me for who He has made me to be…not a duplicate of someone else.

  3. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that praying & reading God’s word together is critical in helping your friendships grow in Christ. If Christ isn’t the center then the devil takes great pleasure in wrecking something that’s taken years to develop. Also, to remember that Christ is suppose to be our VERY best friend first, then our husband, then our friendships <3

  4. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that we are all different not good or bad but different and God loves each and every one of us the same so I can love others because He first loved us.

  5. I’m learning through friendships the value of living in community. I believe with my whole heart that sharing life together — real life — is hard but so rewarding. And I believe that’s how God calls us to live — to help each other, to care for each other, to hear each other, to learn from each other, to glorify God together.

  6. I’m learning to serve regardless of how I feel, or how loving or lovable the person is currently being in return. God’s love for us doesn’t depend on anything in us, so my love for others shouldn’t depend on anything in them!

  7. It takes time, effort, selflessness, and vulnerability (the willingness to be rejected, or left out, but the heart to keep trying until you find that friend that you can relate to).

  8. One thing I’m learning through friendships is that a lot of people have or are going through similar circumstances and can assist you or pray for you.

    We can carry one another’s burdens & joys! I value all the friendships I’ve made through the years!

  9. One thing I am learning through friendship is there is always room for grace and there is always one more thing you do not see {which God sees} which makes sense for what is going on in that friend’s life- so show them grace, you will never regret acting like Christ!! 🙂

  10. That having one or two amazing friends who love you no matter what mistakes you have made, who are there for you when time are good and times are rough, that are not afraid to tell you that you have something in your teeth, and laught with you over the silly things that happen in life, but most of all that you can be there for them in the exact same capacity when they need it.

  11. One thing I am learning through friendship is how connected we are. I have moved across the ocean from friends and family and I have discovered that our connection is just as important and strong. The new relationships I am forming flow like water as I realize no mater where I am, there are others just like me going through all the same things. We are all so connected through Christ!

  12. One thing I am learning through friendship is that your true friends will love you for you, mistakes and all!

  13. I am learning that not all friendships are equal. I am also learning that everyone has their own definition of what friendship is. The definitions and emotions can range anywhere from I will lay my life down for you to we are civilized towards each other.

  14. WOW! This verse is accually on a bright yellow card on my laptop at the office. Day after day I look over it and don’t even read the words any more…thank you for reminding me to get back on the path of living as Christ.

    Blessings!

  15. I’ve been learning lessons in love and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that when God gives us someone to love if often brings out the “ugly” in us because it is often frustrating and our expectations are not met. But that’s the plan! God shows us, through relationship, what needs “fixing” in ourselves. It’s a double blessing.

  16. Honesty. Being honest with others…..being true. Speaking my voice. Leads to deeper and more real relationships.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Friendship is teaching me accountability and encouragement. From dgroups and discussing my walk with Christ, to 5am workouts before prayer group, accountability is a key factor in successful discipleship. Encouragement has never come easily for me. I’ve always been the “realist,” but I’m order to love others as he has loved you, you have to give and receive encouragement freely! My friendships build encouragement
    In my life while giving me the ability to reach out and encourage others.

  18. Simply being me. Being still in who God made me, even when I’d like to be someone else in order to have a friendship I think I need.

  19. One thing I’m learning through friendship has been that I’m not always as good a friend as I want to be. I’ve learned that if I don’t keep my vertical focus then the old me is happy to step up. Praise His name I’m a work in progress….His blessings are for keeps.

  20. Hmmm, good reminder. Sometimes I get caught up in serving my husband, children, parents, siblings, that I forget there are others out there that need to be served, too. Reaching outside of our little self created circle is where things become difficult and we learn to stretch and grow.

  21. One thing I’m learning through relationships is that I am truly a sinful person. A lot of my thoughts and motivations are so selfish, more than I even realized! Jesus Saves!

  22. …I’ve gotten really selfish in it, and I’m not proud of that. I working to change, but it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.”

  23. In my relationships I’m learning Love, Forgiveness and No Judgment. How to love them and myself. How to forgive myself. How to not pass judgment on others or on myself. It was hard to love myself many years ago, especially as a woman. I always felt God made a mistake with me because I was not like my sisters or friends. I was hard on myself in the areas of forgiving more myself and forgetting which is part of forgiveness, what others had done to me. But today I can say God has given me a group of friends that love me as God has made me and we all encourage one another when we each need a lift.

  24. One thing I am learning through friendship is self-sacrifice; specifically, a sacrifice of praise, in giving my time to friends, sacrificially, regardless of how much time… it takes! It is HIS time, not mine.

  25. One of the many things I am learning through friendships is that they are essential. God puts people in our lives to help complete His work through us. He might use one to help build your faith, another to walk alongside you when there is a tragedy in your life, and yet another to share your most private feelings, and in some cases it might just be one person that serves all those areas.

  26. One of the many things I am learning through friendships is that they are essential. God puts people in our lives to help complete His work through us. He might use one to help build your faith, another to walk alongside you when there is a tragedy in your life, and yet another to share your most private feelings, and in some cases it might just be one person.

  27. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that I am learning how to separate my chronic pain anger to other places than to my friends. I am sad I’ve had to learn the hard way though…by losing friends. I don’t know how to tell you how awful it is to find yourself alone because I got mad at my friends when I did not feel well. So I am in process of learning to cope with my chronic illness and kindness to myself so that I can be kind to other people.

  28. To love unconditionally, as Christ loves us. Loving as Christ loves without expecting anything in return. Loving even when the recipient is tough to love. Being a classroom teacher there are many friends(students) in the past that I have prayed, “God help me to love the unlovely.” They were the students in the class that were a challenge, but I wanted to love them unconditionally. That’s what I want most out of relationships: Learning to love as Christ loves

  29. ~ A true friend will be there for you no matter what. It’s not always the big things in life that make a differance. It’s the little things the note in your mailbox or message on the phone or e-mail saying I care and I’m praying for you. =)

  30. The one thing I’m learning through friendship it is a gift to be treasured. Friends are God’s way of showing us different sides of Him. We were made for relationships and ultimately for our relationship with Christ.

  31. One thing I have learned from friendships is that they are a blessing from God, but we need to be seeking our first relationship with Jesus Christ and not look to any (one) person, thing, etc. for fulfillment.

  32. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that we can disagree and still love one another. I’m learning to listen to another’s perspective without getting so defensive if it’s different to my own. I’m learning that the different perspective of a friend doesn’t invalidate my own.

  33. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that the only One who can meet ALL our needs is our Father and to not put unrealistic expectations on my friends-to see all the blessings in friendships instead of pining over what we’re not getting.

  34. One thing i am learning through friendship is to be a friend. Long ago, I was a young mom who was given a 9 week bedrest with her pregnancy. I lay in bed day after day with no friends visiting me. At first, I felt sorry for myself because I was always surrounded with people when I was well. I loved to party, to laugh and to be center of attention and could draw the ‘friends”. Then the Lord asked me some questions in my heart. Who had I brought meals to? Cried with? Spent time with when they were down? Reached out to? Drove to doctors appointments? Babysat for? The answer was not one I wanted to say to myself. I was not a friend. I was FRIENDLY but not a friend. I purposed in my heart to BE a friend through the sunshine and the clouds to my family and to my friends and the richness of friendship has never eluded me since. He taught me the principle of ” having a friend means being a friend. A true friend; one that models after the friendship of our greatest friend, Jesus Christ.

  35. Through friendship I am getting a better glimpse of the nature of God. I am also learning about what a priviledge and honor it is to share who I am with others as they share who they are with me. We have so much to learn from one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

  36. One thing I am learning about friendship is not to expect anything in return for the investment- give freely and don’t expect in return and when kindness and care are reciprocated the friendshipmwill grow and reach new levels

  37. One thing I’m learning through friendship is “mercy” – how to give it AND how to receive it!

  38. One thing I’ve learned about friendship is to be more intentional regarding meeting the needs of my friends and letting them know how much I appreciate their friendship.

  39. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that because we’re all wired differently, friendship is going to look different in each relationship and in different seasons. I am called to love, not just to return love in kind. Therefore, the friendship I offer can’t be defined by how much or how little a friend has available to offer at a given time.

  40. I’m learning that friendship is a 2-way relationship – my friends give to me, I give to them. We meet each other’s needs gladly.

  41. One thing I’m learning through friendships is that it’s not all about me. It’s a give and take relationship and you need to give something in order for the friendship to survive. You can’t do all the taking.

  42. One thing that I am learning through friendship is that even through the most painful, faith-building circumstances that we experience with each other, we are so amazingly connected with each other by the gift and power of His Almighty Presence in the Holy Spirit. I am so ever grateful and humbled at the same time.

  43. ……..to pray for my heart to grow to love them more. You know, those people that really want to be your friend but they don’t “stand out” to you, for no real reason except my ADD goes too fast for them to keep up at my pace. I’m learning through friendship how to pray for my heart to open up and see them as God sees them….with the great qualities and characteristics….and to “stand out” in a way they haven’t before.

  44. I must make an effort. I am such an introvert. I love when people approach me, but sometimes, I must approach others and begin the conversation. Otherwise, I may be missing out on a great friendship!

  45. I’m a social person I love being around people but I have realized now that I am 40 and still single I need different things from my friends and they need different things from me. Instead of stressing myself out trying to keep all my friendships going I have my few close friends that will suppport me no matter what and I put a lot of effort in to those relationships. Other friends I still treasure very much but if I only see them once every 6 months, a year or not for 2 years it will be ok. I have also learned that there are just some friends who know you so well and all the distance in the world and all the missed hours over the years cannot stop you from getting back to your close friendship. So its only an hour.. make the best of that hour and treasure that time.

  46. One thing I’m learning through friendship is honesty. When asked a tough question, I have a chance to be truthful or hide. Be being truthful at a price that risks the outcome, my character is further refined and so can be the character of the listeners). Furthermore, I am learning that there is a good, better and BEST way to communicate difficult information. Truth can be at the heart of what I have to say without being offensive. Asking a question rather than making an accusation, for example. Can’t wait to read, “Relate’! I need healing and incourage(ment) in my relationships. Is this book being used for an online study through Bloom Book Club? ~Renee

  47. One thing I’m learning through friendship is vulnerability. To be honest means I risk much and later learn whether the friendship is deep enough to absorb relational shock that comes with the risk. It’s beautiful. Conflict reveals as much about a person’s character as does conflict in a relationship that stands to be ironed out through vulnerable and honest living!

  48. Ooops! I double posted as I didn’t see the first post make it onto the comments page! Sorry!

  49. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that although I sometimes feel like I don’t need my friends, like all I really need is family, I get rejuvenated by a dinner date without kids with a friend from whom I’m learning so much. I don’t even realize the positivity she brings to my life. When we take away distractions, even our cute little girls, I realize how imperative it is that I nourish friendships for my personal, even spiritual growth, much like this post recommends.

  50. Freedom…to allow them the freedom to be themselves and make their own decisions without any expectancy on my part.

  51. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that each one is different. Some are closer than others. Some are more like acquaintences, whereas some are like sisters. And not all friendships last forever.

  52. I am learning through relationship to be authentic and
    transparent…….even though it means being vulnerable.

  53. That only Christ can satisfy the deepest longing in our hearts. You can’t expect anyone else to do that. Every relationship will be better if you are fulfilled in Christ!

  54. That only Christ can satisfy the deepest longing in our hearts. You can’t expect anyone else to do that. Every relationship will be better if you are fulfilled in Christ and if He is the center of it.

  55. One thing I am learning through friendships is how to be kind even when I don’t “feel” like it. When God chooses a friend for you that you wouldn’t otherwise have chosen, it is usually because He wants to teach you valuable lessons in kindness, humility, and patience. If we only chose our friends based on our own wants, we’d never be around challenging people and we’d never grow.

  56. One thing I am learning through friendships is how flawed I am, how vulnerable I need to be, and how rewarding a friendship can be if only I gave it a chance….

  57. One thing I’m learning through friendship is that it’s not how pretty/rich/ impressive/ cool/ educated/ successful/ well dressed you are that makes you lovable – but how loving, vulnerable, kind and present you are.

    Might sound obvious to some, but it sure took me a while to get it. And I forget it often