Dear Kallos: I am worried for a friend, what can I do?

I am worried for my friend. Her pocket money was reduced as a punishment, and she is already extremely skinny! Sometimes, she comes to school physically or mentally hurt, and also says that she and her sister are fighting for favour from her parents. I want to help her, but I don’t know what to do! – Worried

dear Worried,

It must be a very difficult time for your friend right now. We’re glad you want to help her in a tangible way, so here are some suggestions for how to do so.

Firstly, by being there to listen to her, you are already supporting her in a very meaningful way. Keep being that listening ear and even a shoulder for her to cry on. Find little ways to encourage her, like writing her cards or giving her small gifts if this is within your budget.

If she is a believer or open to hearing about God, further encourage her by sharing how God has been real in your life and how you trust in Him to help you. Let her know that there is a God who cares about her, who hears her cries, and who wants to be her refuge and hope (Ps 91:2).

Secondly, if it is within your means, share some of your food with her, such as a packed lunch or some biscuits. If her pocket money is not sufficient, encourage her to be honest with her parents and explain to them the school canteen prices and how much she really needs for a wholesome diet.

However, it sounds like your friend has a complicated relationship with her parents as she tries to earn their favour and compete with her sister. Remind her that her worth is not tied to her parent’s approval but that she has been created uniquely. Share this precious Scripture with her: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14). Tell her what specific qualities you appreciate about her, and why you value her as a friend. Build up her self-esteem by showering her with encouraging words. Healing from her wounds and learning to be secure will be a long process for your friend, but starting with the truth of who she is will make a difference.

Lastly, encourage your friend to share what she is going through with a teacher or school counsellor who has other resources to help her. It is important to speak up, especially if she is getting hurt physically. Your concern is valid, and we hope you can share it with a caring teacher who can help to protect your friend.

Keep being a friend to her and praying for her. We believe your friend is encountering God’s love through you and that is amazing! Keep going!

Kallos Team
At Kallos, we aim to empower young women globally to be advocates of inner beauty and confidence and to boldly live out their God-planned design.