Godly Friendships During Your College Years – The Benefit of Christian Relationships

Feb 19, 2024 | Featured

For many students entering the realm of Christian college, the prospect of being surrounded by hundreds of Christians in the buildings where you live and study every day is totally new. Unless you attended a Christian school, most people have not experienced the many blessings and benefits of getting to do life with other Christians 24/7. Godly friendships during your college years are something you can’t put a price on. And many, many of the friendships that have begun at Grace Christian University have blossomed into lifelong relationships that last through the decades.

But having godly friendships isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are many aspects to friendships that are challenging. Yet the Bible reminds us that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17). And, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17).

Challenges of Godly Friendships During Your College Years

Friendships are worth having – despite the hard work that they sometimes take. One challenge that Christian college students can experience is the staggering amount of opportunities that there are for friendships right there in your dorm or classroom. When you enter Christian college and are suddenly surrounded by hundreds of Christians, it’s natural to want to be friends with everyone. However, trying to have deep relationships with too many people can quickly lead to overwhelm and frustration.

Keep in mind that Jesus Himself did not try to have very close relationships with every person. Jesus modeled different levels of friendship.

He had His inner circle of three (Peter, James, and John). Then He had the twelve disciples. After that, He also had crowds of people whom He loved, healed, taught, and fed (read John 6:1-15).

It’s important to recognize that you can’t have deep relationships with everyone – as much as you might want to. During your time at college, you will have a few people who are your “best friends”. These are people you can confide in, share confidential prayer requests with, and spend the most time with. 

After that, you’ll have a number of casual friendships. These are people you know fairly well and enjoy spending time with.

Outside of this group, you can be friendly to everyone! There is certainly blessing in knowing many people and sharing smiles and hellos. 

Godly friendships take time, effort, and work. As humans, this means that we only have the capacity for a handful of deep friendships.

Benefits of Christian Relationships

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

God created His people for fellowship. The Christian life is full of trials and temptations. God in His grace has gifted us with means to withstand these temptations and trials and to find our fulfillment in Christ. Christian friendships are one of these means.

Hebrews 3:12-13 says, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today”, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

The benefits of strong, godly friendships during your college years and beyond are many. Godly friendships provide:

  • Accountability
  • Encouragement
  • Joy and laughter
  • Godly influence
  • Spiritual wisdom and advice
  • A listening ear

Making Godly Friends During Your College Years

The benefits of godly friendships are profound. But in order to have a friend, you need to be a friend, too. What does it take to build encouraging relationships with those around you?

If the idea of making friends sounds overwhelming or intimidating to you, don’t worry. Everyone around you probably feels the same way! Instead of worrying about what others think of you, focus on being a good friend to others. Make the people around you feel comfortable, and show an interest in them.

Start by asking simple questions, like someone’s name, where they’re from, what they’re studying, and what they hope to do after college. Deep friendships are grown when people find common ground. As you meet more people – whether in college or elsewhere – you’ll find people who share similarities with you.

Don’t be afraid to initiate. Invite someone to coffee. Share your story. Take a walk. Or gather a group of people to hang out together and play some games.

Then, be a good listener. Make the people around you feel cared for and loved by showing interest in their story and their interests.

C.S. Lewis said of friendship:

“I have no duty to be anyone’s friend and no man in the world has a duty to be mine. No claims, no shadow of necessity. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

— C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Join The Grace Family

Those who have attended or been involved with Grace Christian University understand the unique, warm, family-like atmosphere that makes the Grace community so special. Once you’re a part of the community at Grace, they will always be your family.

If you’re looking for a place to further your academic journey that also provides ample opportunity for deep, lifelong, Christian friendships, we would love to have you join us at Grace Christian University.

Browse our degree tracks (both online and in-person), or request more info about Grace today.

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