Friends, BFFs, buddies, pals, whatever we call them, they’re important to all of us. Sometimes our kids can choose friends who do anything but point them to what’s right. Take heart! God’s Word has something to say to us about that, and Ashton points us to the truth about making good friends. (October will be a repeat of topics as we are working to create a new Family Matters experience for you!)
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
We were built to be in relationships with others. We are created in the likeness of God, who in Himself is three in one, so our desire for good relationships reflects who God is.
What becomes difficult is navigating what good friendships look like. The beauty behind friendships is the ability to choose them. How can we guide kids to healthy and God-fearing friendships?
- Pray – We can see in Luke 6:12-13 that Jesus went out to the mountain, by himself, to pray. The next verse describes that he called his disciples and chose from them twelve. Prayer was important to Jesus. Go to the Father and intercede on your kids’ behalf. Ask Him to give your kids wisdom when it comes to choosing their friends. Ask Him to put good influences in their path to choose from.
- Teach – Scripture gives us countless verses on the importance of good friendships. Take a look at what 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” When it comes to kids of any age, it’s important to not only teach them good morals, but to find friends who share in similar morals as they do. Many people get caught up in the wrong crowd and scripture tell us to not be deceived by bad influences.
- Know – Growing up, my parents knew all my friends and in return I also knew their parents. Get to know their friends, and you’ll quickly be able to discern what kind of influence they will be towards your kids. We all often tend to pick up on traits and characteristics of our friends or the people we spend most of our time with.
If you’re noticing a bad influence in your children’s friendships it’s best to be honest with them. These conversations are never easy. Point them back to scripture…they’ll thank you for it in the end. Remind them what qualities to look for in good friendships and to proactively choose based on the guidance of the Lord.
I always go back to Jesus and the disciples. Jesus could have completed His ministry by Himself, instead He chose people He would be close to in the last few years of His life. He shared His heart with them, was honest with them and when it was time Jesus sent them out to proclaim the Good News because they were the ones who knew Him best.
It’s always important to take a look and re-evaluate friendships. As you continue to change and grow as a person, so do your friends. If you find yourself in a situation where your friends have become less-than-great influences on your life, take steps to separate yourself from them for a season. Ask the Lord to give you good and faithful friendships that go beyond this world and reflect Him.
Are you surrounded by good, solid friendships in your life? Are you a good influence on your friends and if not, what will you do to make changes for the better?