Revive Our Hearts Weekend Podcast

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Friendship: Beware

Episode Notes:

These series make up today's Revive Our Hearts Weekend program:

"The Truth That Sets Young Women Free"

"Friend-ish"

"The Power of Relationships"

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Dannah Gresh: There’s actually a movement among Christian women advocating for a new approach to friendships. Kelly Needham says what some women are now experiencing is unhealthy.

Kelly Needham: Because friendships are not supposed to look like marriage. It puts pressure and expectations on that relationship that are not meant to be there. It often leads people into struggles with same sex attraction. 

Dannah: Yep, we’re gonna go there! Talking counterfeit and real friendships on today’s episode of Revive Our Hearts Weekend.

Welcome to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh. 

For twenty years I’ve been working with young women from the tweens all the way up to college age. One thing is for certain: they crave friendship. It’s one of their highest priorities. But should it be?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and I wrote a book together, it’s titled Lies Young Women Believe. And one of the lies that we addressed was this: “I need to have friends.” While we’re made for community, sometimes we place the need for human friendship in a position that only belongs to God.

Nancy and I had a conversation about young women and relationships.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We’re made to be relational. When we feel that things aren’t connecting relationally, there’s an emptiness. There’s a vacuum. There’s a hunger. There’s a longing for connection.

Ultimately what we know is that hunger, that longing is not going to be fulfilled in any human relationship in an ultimate sense, but it’s a hunger for God.

God has created our hearts with this huge, cavernous vacuum that no human being can fill in the deepest sense. There will always be some unfulfilled longings.

That sounds a little bit like the counsel of despair unless we let it point us to that core relationship with the Lord. When I’m cultivating that friendship with Him, then I don’t have to look to those other friendships to be the end all satisfying thing in my life.

Teens: Gimme some truth!

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple (Ps. 27:4).

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps. 73:25–26).

Dannah: I think that’s where the lies that we as women can understand what it’s like to feel a little isolated. That’s where we lose the ability to really understand the heat of the battle for our daughters.

When your daughter comes home at the end of the day and everyone at school knows there was a note in her locker that said how ugly and hypocritical and everything she is and she attends a Christian school, that’s where the rubber meets the road with a lie like this.

Because Satan can go back to that day for decades and bring the words—she’ll see the exact way the words looked on the paper for years. If you don’t have empathy and understanding to address that with truth, you have to say, “Yes, this is a bad day. Let’s cry together.”

Phil: It can be tricky for a teenage girl

Dannah: This is Phil, our sound engineer and lead producer for Revive Our Hearts . . . he’s doing some narration for us today.

Phil: As I was saying . . . It can be tricky for a teenage girl to navigate between a legitimate need for human relationships and an unhealthy dependence on relationships. Again, here’s Dannah Gresh.

Dannah: This lie kind of intersects with the top lie in the book. I don’t know that it’s the most powerful, but it’s the first one we decided to address, which is: God is not enough.

Teen: Okay, God, I know you’re enough in the ultimate sense, but I also need some friends with skin on!

Dannah: Because when we listened to girls talk about that, they said, “Yes, if my parents could just be together, I’d be happy. Yes, if I could just get A’s, I would be happy. If I could just make the soccer team I’d be happy. If I could just get to be president of the youth group, I’d be happy.”

But across the board, the number one thing that they said about God not being enough was, “As long as I have my friends, God is enough.” So obviously, it’s hard to talk about this lie about I don’t have any friends without first addressing that. Because if you look to friends as your source of sustenance, they are going to let you down.

Phil: Dannah knows many young ladies are just socially awkward.

Dannah: My coworker, Susie, was working with a girl that was a lot like this. She really wasn’t an easily likeable young woman. She was just that kind of girl.

Susie said to her, “Here’s what you need to do. This week at school, I challenge you to look around and find someone who’s lonelier than you are, and ask God what to do with that.” Well, she saw this young woman a few days later at lunch sitting all by herself and thought,

Teen: Hey, she’s always sitting by herself. I’m going to go sit with her.

Dannah: A couple weeks later, she wrote to Susie and said,

Teen: I found my best friend because I stopped saying, “Who’s going to be my friend?” and I started looking around and saying, “Who needs a friend?”

Phil: Helping a teen turn her focus outward can be difficult. But Dannah says a little compassion can go a long way.

Dannah: Well, I think one of the things as moms we make a mistake of quickly running to the solutions and the truth instead of just stopping and saying, “Wow, this really hurts doesn’t it? You’ve really had a bad day” or “You know what? Your friend said some really untruthful things about you.”

I think sometimes if we will just stop and cry with them a little bit instead of quickly changing how they should be thinking, that’s going to open their hearts up to listen to your advice.

Nancy: Of course, the balance there is to do that in a way that you’re not picking up an offense for your daughter and then projecting bitterness or blame or anger. That’s an easy thing to do. It’s one thing for somebody to hurt a mom, but you hurt her kid . . .

Dannah: Momma bear comes out.

Listen to the entire episode, "The Truth About Relationships." This is from the series, "The Truth That Sets Young Women Free."

Dannah: These young women are on my heart, I want them in good relationships—relationships that drive them to the only One who truly will satisfy the needs in their heart: Jesus! 

But, I’m meeting with a lot of confused teens and college-aged girls these days. My friend Kelly Needham has seen it, too!

Kelly was in college when she started noticing what she calls counterfeit friendships. Friendships that are too close, unhealthy, and asking something out of a relationship that it can’t possibly give. Kelly’s a contributor to the Revive Our Hearts blog and author of Friendish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion. Kelly shared with Nancy that her first encounter of counterfeit friendships was with a woman she was mentoring. 

Kelly: My first concern was when she called and asked me to hold her accountable to how much time they were spending together. She was struggling in her classes. She was not passing because of the hours they were spending together. The way she talked about it felt like an addiction that she couldn’t break free of it. 

She didn’t see it as a problem so much as just something she had to learn to reign in. It became very ingrown. Their loyalty to one another was higher than any other loyalty, even to Christ. It led to some serious sin issues and other things. 

I started to see that pattern happening not just in her. Over the years, I would see people in friendships where the expectations they had of those friendships were different than what I had known in my really great friendships. So it caused me to think, What’s going on here? On the outside it looks good. They’re in Bible studies together. They go to church together.

Nancy: So these are Christian friends? 

Kelly: Christian friends. They’re talking about Jesus, and they have an understanding of “I need community” that’s important. 

Nancy: So what starts out as a really sweet gift and a good thing and healthy and helpful and constructive thing even for spiritual growth, can go awry and can become obsessive, or as you said, ingrown, and become something that is a war zone instead of a place for nurturing and growth.

Kelly: The Lord was growing in me a desire to put the guardrail up on the other side. Yes, we really need this. We need mentors, we need spiritual moms, we need sisters to walk alongside us, but ultimately we need Jesus. Our loyalty is first to Him and foremost to Him. This idea of making a good thing too great or too important isn’t new in any context.

Nancy: It's such a strategy of the Enemy. He takes God’s good gifts and makes them gods. Instead of God capital g, we look to these things . . . It can be sex, it can be marriage, it can be friendship, women friendships, mentoring. These good things that we need, and yet he can by misplaced affection, misplaced priority, make them actually our undoing. 

I remember calling you or contacting you after I had seen this in a college student friend of mine who had contacted me and said, “I’ve become entrapped in this relationship with another college friend.” It had turned into something really unhealthy. They both knew it.

Don’t you think a lot of this is being influenced by some voices in the culture that are talking about friendship in a way that is different than the biblical concept of friendship?

Kelly: Oh yes, very much so. Especially now that we have social media and a lot of ways for people to watch the lives of other people—godly people and worldly people. We’re seeing that influence, I think, translate even quicker. 

I did a lot of research for this book, reading secular books about friendship, trying to hear what some of the voices out there are saying. It was shocking to read what is becoming a new normal for friendship.

Nancy: Explain what that looks like.

Kelly: Sure. I would say some of it too, for context, just comes from we are seeing people not get married. We’re not seeing families, at least in the world, we’re seeing people not get married. We have the largest single population that we’ve ever had in our nation. You have a lot of people who are not getting married and having kids, so they’re looking for stability somewhere. They’re starting to look to friendship. 

Some of these books that I’ve read are giving examples of friendship that look like a marriage, that actually mimic this idea of marriage: they’re exclusive, they’re very physically affectionate, there’s a lot of possessiveness. I think that for the Christian, that’s something concerning. Our loyalties are first and foremost to Christ.

Nancy: So they’re promoting a brand of friendship that is actually a knock-off of marriage? Would that be a way of saying it?

Kelly: In one of the books that I read for research, the woman talked about her best friend in a way that was trying to showcase how important that relationship is.

Nancy: So the woman’s talking about a female friend?

Kelly: Yes, she’s talking about a female friend, her best friend. She’s trying to showcase this is how important this is. She’s talking to her husband and says to her husband, “You know I love you, but my best friend so-and-so is my soulmate.” 

The husband’s response, she said, is, “Yes, I know that.” So you’re seeing even a loyalty in some of these friendships that supersedes even their marriages even if they do get married. There’s actually a new, popular wedding photo that’s going around that you’ll see the bride and the groom next to each other. The picture is from the back, and the bride is holding hands intertwined with her maid of honor behind his back.

Nancy: Wow.

Kelly: A lot of the comments about it that you’ll see on Pinterest or other places is, “This perfectly describes my relationship with my best friend.” For some of them, for the world and those that aren’t following Christ, to them marriage is temporary. We’re seeing marriage and divorce rates so high that they don’t see those romantic relationships as being lasting.

Nancy: They think that their girl friendships may outlast their marriage.

Kelly: They do. And for a lot of people that has been true—especially those who are not walking with the Lord. We’re seeing a prizing of that relationship, of friendship. We’re seeing an elevation of it. I think the most unhealthy form of it is usually that really exclusive, “this is my best friend, we’re each other’s best friend” relationship. They’ve formed this little, tight-knit inner circle. It mimics marriage. It’s becoming a normal, celebrated form of female friendship that is getting modeled to younger women and young girls.

As a mom, that’s something that has concerned me. I want my daughters to have good friendships. I pray for that for them. I want them to have intimate, close companionship that’s important for their life.

Nancy: You’re not saying, for example, if you’re married that you don’t have other friendships. Your husband shouldn’t be your only friend. You’re talking about something here that becomes a counterfeit for the good thing God wants us to really enjoy.

Kelly: Exactly. That’s why I like the word counterfeit. A counterfeit of something looks like the real thing. If you talk about counterfeit money, it’s not because it looks like money from Russia; it looks like our money.

Nancy: It’s convincing.

Kelly: It’s convincing. It looks similar, but it’s not the real thing. We need to figure out what is the real thing and how do we fight for that because it’s very important to our lives as Christians.

Nancy: What’s a counterfeit type of friendship that’s concerning you as you’re looking at the lay of the land here? What do you see happening in a lot of women’s lives?

Kelly: I think the first one that’s been one of the easiest to see is what we’ve talked about a little bit—mimicking marriage. We don’t see in the Bible any other relationship besides the marriage union that is meant to be exclusive.

Nancy: And permanent.

Kelly: And permanent. Binding. Obviously, if my husband got a job across the country, I’m going with him. That should happen because we are now one flesh. The reason that that’s important for that to remain is because marriage is shadowing something. It’s shadowing Christ and the Church. That is important for us to maintain.

Nancy: The eternal relationship of Christ and His Bride.

Kelly: We need those distinctives to be there. That doesn’t mean we don’t need friends, but it means that our friendships are going to look different than what a marriage relationship looks like. One counterfeit is friendships that mimic marriage; they have the same kind of feel. There’s exclusivity.

Nancy: We even read some about covenantal friendships. Like BFF, meaning we’re committing to each other that this is a long-term relationship. What do you see is a problem with that?

Kelly: Sure. There’s actually a new movement advocating for that from Christians. I think it’s unhealthy, because friendships are not supposed to look like marriage. It puts pressure and expectations on that relationship that are not meant to be there. It often leads people into struggles with same sex attraction. 

In some ways that shouldn’t be surprising if you’re taking two friends and you mimic the marriage relationship. Marriage is meant to be consummated in a sexual union. If we put the language around it of I’m falling in love with my best friend which you’ll see in the world, talking about it that way. Or this is the love of my life, but they’re talking about their best friend, or this is my soulmate. You’re shaping how you think and how you frame that relationship in a way that shouldn’t be surprising that we see people tempted to express their affection in real physical ways that are inappropriate for friendship. 

We need physical touch and hugs from a friend. God has meant for us to be ministered to in that way in appropriate ways. But it easily becomes inappropriate and unhealthy and a form of bondage.

Listen to the entire episode, "The Marks of Counterfeit Friendship." This is from the series, "Friend-ish."

Dannah: I hope you caught what Nancy and Kelly Needham were just talking about. The close friendships that they were calling into question border on dangerous. Let me warn you to be careful and beware of what is happening in your relationships! Be mindful and intentional in your friendships, but be careful to avoid the counterfeits.

This might be more of a phenomenon among younger women, but it is a good thing for all of us to keep in mind as we go through life with others.

Here are a couple of questions to determine if a friendship is healthy or counterfeit: 

  • Is this friendship pushing me to the cross to have more dependency on Christ? or
  • Is this friendship luring me away from Jesus allowing me to have more dependency on my friend?

Ask yourself if you depend more on your friend than on Jesus.

If you have more questions on this topic of counterfeit friendships I suggest you listen to the entire series where Kelly and Nancy talk through dangers and pitfalls of unchecked friendship. We have a link for that series on the transcript for today’s program at ReviveOurHearts.com.

You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh.

You know, it was God who gave us friends in the first place. It wasn’t just about you, and your “need” for a girlfriend to go shopping with, or exercise with. There was a lot more to it.

Over the last few months we’ve been looking at friendship . . . and how we women need to love one another. And when we do that well, we display the love of God to those around us.

Let's look at what true friendship should look like.

Let’s do that by reading God’s word together. I want to read Ecclesiastes chapter 4 verses 9–11 to you. Maybe you can pull it up on your phone or find it in your Bible.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

In her "Power of Relationships" series Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth spends some time in these verses. And she shares key qualities and characteristics of relationships with each other on a horizontal level—you to me. In verse 9, two are better than one, she said that we are reminded that we are better together, more fruitful and productive. Here’s Nancy continuing in that passage.

Nancy: Then in verse 10, “If one falls down [this is another reason that two are better than one] his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” We talked about how intimate friendships and relationships can provide help—help in time of adversity, help in time of difficulty, and how a good friend can help us up in times of failure. When we have fallen or we’re about to fall, or when we can’t stand up on our own, a good friend, starting with God who is our truest friend, but then good friends here on earth can help us in these times. They can help us stand upright, help pull us out of a pit when we’ve fallen down.

And again, it’s not that we’re to lean on people—we lean on God—but we realize that God often uses His people. As we’re members of the body of Christ, members of the family of God, God uses His people to help us, to lift us up, and to keep us from falling.

We not only want to look to how we can get that kind of help from others, but as we’re considering this passage, we want to be asking the Lord, “How do You want me to be that kind of friend to someone else who has fallen? Who is down?” Rather than just kicking them down or talking to other people about how they’ve fallen, how can I help those who have needs?

Now we come to verse 11, which says, “Also . . ."—this is another reason that two are better than one, another reason we need relationship. “If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

This says to us that one of the benefits and blessings of relationship with God and with others is that intimate relationships provide comfort and companionship in our times of need. “If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

There’s a sense in which this is literally true, or can be. I’ve read that one’s body heat can actually keep another person from freezing if they’re out in a very cold environment. I think, obviously, the author has more in mind here than just the matter of body temperature.

“If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” The implication here is that there’s a cold environment. And this world certainly is cold and harsh. That’s why we need each other—in times when those biting northern winds come sweeping through our lives, times of grief, times of sorrow, times of adversity, times of financial pressure.

When we’re cold, when we’re needy, we need other people to comfort us, to provide companionship, to keep us warm, to keep us alive, to encourage us, to give us spiritual and emotional warmth and hope, to give us perspective. Sometimes that’s what keeps us alive—just realizing there is a point of view—God’s point of view—that can help me get through this.

I’ve got a number of precious friends who fill all of these different types of relational needs in my life. I think of one friend with whom I talk on the phone quite often. We don’t see each other a lot, but when I’m feeling like I’m just buried, overwhelmed, swamped, can’t keep my head above water, this friend has a way, with just a soft, soothing tone of voice, of encouraging me and saying in essence, “Nancy, you’re going to make it. God has been so good to you. God has helped you through this. God has brought you this far.” She just speaks words that warm my heart. There are those times when I couldn’t keep warm by myself, but I need someone like my friend to come along in that harsh, cold world and give me warmth and hope.

Again, we see that the apostle Paul had this kind of need. You think of Paul as being very capable, very strong, and probably not needing other people. But that’s not true. Repeatedly throughout the Epistles, Paul expresses his need for the warmth of others.

In 2 Corinthians this comes out a couple of times. Second Corinthians 2, verses 12 and 13, Paul says,

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

Now, I don’t know what all’s behind that. We don’t know more than what the Scripture said there, but apparently Paul needed warmth. He went to Troas, and there was an open door to preach the gospel, but he said, “I was unsettled. I was troubled.” We don’t know why. Maybe it was other circumstances in his life, but he said, “My friend Titus wasn’t there, my brother Titus. We’re part of a family. I needed him. I was unsettled. So I left that place and went on.”

Second Corinthians chapter 7, verse 5, Paul says,

Even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn, fighting without and fear within, but [I love this verse] God who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.

So now Titus had come, and now Paul could be warmed. Now he could be comforted. There wasn’t anything strange or weird about this relationship. It’s the family of God. Paul said, “I needed my brother, Titus. I was facing afflictions—fightings without, fears within—but God who comforts the downcast, God who warms cold hearts, God warmed me, God comforted me by sending my brother Titus.”

It may be when you move to a new city, maybe when you lose a job, it may be in the loss of a loved one, but you’re cold, and you’re just kind of shivering inside. That’s when we need a friend. That’s when two are better than one, because if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

Listen to the entire episode, "Two Are Better Than One." This comes from the series, "The Power of Relationships."

Dannah: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, helping us look at relationships on the horizontal level—you and me. But what if we were to look at those same verses from the vertical level—you and God, me and God. Here’s Nancy picks up with verse 9 of Ecclesiastes 4.

Nancy: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work" (v. 9). I think of Philippians 2 that tells us, "It’s God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (v. 13 KJV). You can’t live the Christian life alone. You can’t serve God by yourself. You need God. I need God. It’s God who is at work within us, giving us the desire and the power to please Him. "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work."

And then verse 10, here's another benefit or blessing of an intimate relationship.

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

So intimate relationships provide help in time of adversity, time of difficulty, or time of failure. One falls down, someone helps him up. His friend helps him up. I think of Psalm 145 that says, "The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down" (v. 14 ESV). He is that Friend who lifts me up when I fall, who lifts you up when you fall.

Romans 14, "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand" (v. 4 ESV).

I love that verse. I take heart. I take courage and hope from that verse because the Lord is able to make me stand upright. He's able to keep me from falling. I can't do it without Him. Apart from Him, I would fall, and so would you. Two are better than one.

"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (Ecc. 4:10). And when I do fall, by the way, it’s the grace of God that lifts me up. It’s the grace of God that forgives and cleanses and restores and renews me and reconciles me to fellowship with God.

And then verse 11, here's a third benefit or a blessing of an intimate relationship with God.

If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 

Intimate relationships provide comfort and companionship in time of need. And who better does that for us than God Himself?

Listen to the entire episode, "You, Me, and God." This comes from the series, "The Power of Relationships."

Dannah: You may feel it at times, but you are never alone. God wants to fill your need for companionship and intimacy with Himself. And sometimes, He uses others to fill that need. 

Friendship is good, in fact, so good that God designed it. But like with everything else He designed, we need to make sure that it never comes before Him, and we need to make sure that it’s healthy, life-giving, and always points us to Christ.

One way of keeping Christ first and foremost in our hearts is by studying His Word.

Revive Our Hearts wants to invite you to dig deeper into God’s Word with us. We’ve just released the latest study in the Women of the Bible study from Revive Our Hearts called Deborah: Becoming a Woman of Influence. Learn to trust God for His perfect plan, just like Deborah did.

This copy of the Deborah study is yours when you make a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts. It’s our way of saying "thank you" when you support this ministry. So call 1–800–569–5959 with your gift today, or go to ReviveOurHearts.com and click on the donate tab.

When the pandemic hit last year we stopped going into the office to work, we stopped shopping like we used to, we stopped going to exercise in a gym, we stopped going to church. Now, we are back in the office, back in the grocery stores, back to the fitness facilities, and . . . wait . . . are we back in church? Next week, we’ll talk about should we or shouldn’t we be back in church. 

Thanks for listening today. 

Thanks to our team. I couldn’t do this without them!

  • Phil Krause for his amazing narration skills. 
  • Dylan Weibel for sitting in the studio with me and recording my every word.
  • Rebekah Krause for her acute attention to detail.
  • Justin Converse for his mad hearing skills.
  • Michelle Hill for her way with sensing the pulse of women’s needs and taking them to the Lord so we can fill you with Truth!

And for Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh

Revive Our Hearts Weekend calls you to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.

About the Host

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Guest

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham is married to singer/songwriter and speaker Jimmy Needham. She first began writing and speaking to his fan base in 2008 as they traveled together and has since garnered a much wider platform. Kelly is a regular contributor for the True Woman blog and is author of the book Friendish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion. She has been on staff at two different churches, serving in youth, college, and women's ministry. Whether writing or speaking, Kelly’s aim is to convince as many people as possible that nothing compares to knowing Jesus. She and Jimmy live in the Dallas area with their three children, Lively, Sophia, and Benjamin. You can find more of her writing and speaking at kellyneedham.com or follow her on social media.