Hi! I would like to ask, how do you reach out to a friend who just recently had suicidal thoughts after a painful breakup(he said he can’t live without his ex) but does not want to hear anything about the love of Jesus nor the promises from the bible(for he thinks it’s all religion, even after explaining that the offer is a relationship not religion)? Thank you in advance😊
Wow, thats such a difficult position to be in. Thank you for asking such an important question in this time. My answer is going to be fairly short, but please dont see that as a dis or because its simple, I just dont think there are many options. Firstly, if your friend is genuinely suicidal, I highly recommend that you encourage them to see a medical professional. I cannot emphasize this enough. There are Christian and non Christian men and women who are trained to help people in those tough spots, make sure your friend doesn’t feel ashamed to reach out for help.
But outside of that, here would be my approach to a friend who is suicidal after a breakup:
Presence. Time. And a lot of listening.
I think by far, more than anything, you can be a listening ear to your friend. When someone is in that much pain, they often dont want answers, they want someone who will be with them in the pain.
Show them how much you love them and value them by being willing to serve them at this time.
This sounds easy, but its quite difficult. Often people in such a state are hard to be around. But I would challenge you to think of creative ways to be their friend. If they are a close friend, you know what cheers them up. You know what makes them feel valued and supported. Your mission as a Christian at this point is to show the love of Christ through your actions, versus explanation (which can and will come later).
In doing this, I would also be thinking of great questions to ask him.
Some questions I might ask are:
What about being in a relationship made life worth living that you no longer have?
Do you have anything you are looking forward to?
Prior to this relationship, what brought you joy, peace, happiness?
Really think of questions that will get him to dig deeper. Its once those questions are answered that we can start talking about worldview and then bring the Gospel.
Also, if you have ever gone through a similar pain, be vulnerable and share it with him. Explain how you felt and what brought you out of it. Being vulnerable fosters vulnerability.
Finally, and most importantly.
Pray daily for your friend.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would give you discernment and supernatural sensitivity.
Pray that that the God of mercy would save your friend.
Pray that if you can be used, that He would use you.
I am so grateful you are in his life. Do not think thats an accident. This isnt the most glamorous part of evangelism and the Christian walk, but it pleases our Heavenly Father and it matters so much!
Thank you for sharing, I hope this helped in some way.
Wow! Thank you so much for this! I never thought of asking my friend those simple yet perspective changing questions. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to do. I just assured him of my presence as a listening ear(despite the 7hr time difference) if he needed to pour his heart out. I asked him to seek professional help but he’s unwilling as of the moment. Thank you for the honest reminder to share the gospel with our actions more than our explanation(for now). I’m reminded of what our local church shared to us to make the gospel go viral: to pray, care and share; whomever we meet, wherever and whenever.