ep.07 | Friendship with Elizabeth Seifried
Today I’m chatting with my dearest friend, Elizabeth Seifried. Elizabeth is wife to Grant Seifried and mama to two little boys who are less than one year apart, Everett Brooks and Cooper Scott. For that reason alone, she is my hero. She celebrates the little things in life and loves her people deeply. I jokingly say that Elizabeth started discipling me in the ways of friendship our freshman year of college. I genuinely believe there’s no better person to share with us all how to do friendship well. If you enjoy our conversation today, you should download episode 2 of the Journeywomen podcast so that you can hear from another lifelong friend of ours, Sarah Scott Pape, as she shares on the topic of evangelism. Finally, shout out to Sarah’s brother, Jake Scott of Tossing Copper, for letting me use the tunes you hear in the intro. What can I say, it takes a village. Thanks for joining us! If you enjoyed the show, make sure to find me @hunterbeless or @journeywomen podcast on Instagram or Facebook. It’d be amazing if you could take time to write a review so we can connect with other women on their journeys to glorify God!
There are so many things I could say about my chat with Elizabeth, but I think my biggest takeaway was Elizabeth’s encouragement to press into friendship with Jesus. Just like an earthly friend, our relationship with him requires commitment, vulnerability, intentionality, and trust. He is the perfect friend we can all look to as a model for friendship. The best thing is, we have the joy of experiencing that with him today! John tells us that this is eternal life: knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. I hope you delight in that today, my friends. Thanks for listening! I’m already looking forward to our time together next week!
1. What is friendship? What’s the Biblical backing for friendship?
2. How does friendship relate to your spirituality?
3. If you had to give some fundamental pillars of friendship, what would they be? (Maybe something like service, intimacy, devotion, etc)
4. What are some practical ways you can deepen a friendship? (Shared experiences, celebrating one another, serving one another, seeking to know them and be known by them, etc)
5. Before we move on: are there any disclaimers or things to beware of when you’re pursuing deep friendships with other people?
6. What about friendship transitions? How have your friendships changed in the transitions from high school to college, college to working, working to marriage, marriage to motherhood, etc?
7. For the married folks: what tips do you have for cultivating friendships with other married couples?
8. What are some ways that married couples be friends with singles?
9. On the flip side, what are some ways singles can pursue friendship with married couples? How would you suggest someone who is single pursue you as a friend in your current season as a mother?
10. How do you handle conflict in friendship?
11. How has friendship, in general (not just ours), changed you?
Three questions I ask every guest
- What are your top 3 recommendations for someone who wants to grow in friendship with another person? These can be books, experiences, podcasts, whatever!
- What are your 3 simple joys?
- As a journeywoman, who has had the greatest impact in your own journey with Jesus?
Note Worthy Quotes
Elizabeth’s Five Pillars for Friendship:
*Note that Elizabeth says these can differ for everyone.
“So much about friendship comes down to expectations. I think that even when it comes to commitment, if those expectations are different, that’s where potential conflict arises.”
“A disappointment is only a failed expectation. If someone finds themselves disappointed by someone’s lack of commitment, it may be that their expectations are simply different.”
“As friendships grow and as shared experiences take place vulnerability will continue to deepen… I think that’s a healthy thing, because guarded hearts in a friendship make it hard to experience growth.”
“Trust is given, not earned. I think that’s something you offer to someone until they prove they shouldn’t be given it.”
"There are so many ways to deepen a friendship. People long to be cared for. God designed us for relationship. You even say it, ‘Life is a journey we were never meant to walk alone, we all need friends along the way.’ If we are looking to walk in friendship with someone we need to look for ways to show people that we care for them. People need that.”
“There are experiences that need to be shared, events that need to be celebrated. Service is a huge piece of that. Be a student of your friends. Learn what makes them thrive, crumble, come alive, what annoys them, what things they enjoy. What kind of environments can they dream in? What do they dream about? It’s important to be a learner of your friends. Once you’ve learned those things you can press into them and offer them in a way that shows you care. That’s what we’re all looking for.”
“If you already have a friendship that you’re looking to deepen, study God’s Word together!”
“Friendship isn’t about being happy. But there is joy in walking with people and in serving people in a way in which you’re seeking their happiness and growth with Jesus. When that’s a focus it takes our eyes off of ourselves and offers a practical way to deepen a friendship.”
“Friendship in it’s perfect form is about walking with people as they walk towards Jesus. If we’re made for community and God has designed us to walk alongside other people, yet while we’re here we can spur each other on to look more like Jesus, isn’t that what we’re doing here?”
“The Gospel is offensive. It’s offensive to our humanness. Our humanness is not selfless. It’s selfish. If I continue to walk in myself, which I do, because I’m a fallen person, yes, saved by grace and thankful for that, but I need people to confront me.”
“The biggest part of transitioning seasons in friendship is to put forth effort to understand and communicate care on both sides.”
“Ask God for a friend. And if you’re in a season of major loneliness, God can be a really precious friend. His faithfulness beat’s anybody’s faithfulness. His intentionally beats anybody’s on earth. The way he gives surprises, the way he speaks ‘Hey, I love you and you’re not alone,’ he does that in ways that humans cannot. That sounds so cheesy, but I’ve seen God be a very near and dear confidant and counselor in seasons where I’ve felt very isolated. He’s good at that and he knows what we need better than another person can. Ask him to show you the way he can personally love you. And ask him for a friend. And if you’ve been asking for a friend for years, don’t stop.”
Elizabeth’s Resources for Friendship
Think of 3 people who you would consider your closest friends and physically make a list of why and how they are a good friend to you. Compare them with one another. You’ll probably see the themes or pillars that you value in friendship. Go and model that selflessly and without reciprocation. You’ll be surprised how much more engaged in friendship you’ll become because you’re actively pursuing other people.
Practice being selfless and seeking out other people in that way, but by doing that through what you value. Put yourself in a place who aren’t exactly like you and make a friend. Go into that situation with the expectation of asking all the questions, but not being asked anything in return.
Learn to experience the highs and lows with people.
Elizabeth’s Simple Joys
Clean sheets and shaved legs
A Saturday morning with her people
Watching her oldest, Everett, learn to walk