How to Navigate Friendships Changing
Sanctification. A word difficult to understand and even more difficult to live through. Simply, it means change. Braxton turns our attention to how we can guide our kids through the sanctifying process of friendship changes.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:26
Things change, people change. That’s the old saying that gets repeated and often used to justify people’s wrongdoing or growing distance. While the saying is true, it does merit more of an examination than just the platitude of saying it.
Sanctification is an on-going process the Lord uses to make us more like Christ. As we march through our Earthly journeys realizing things and people do change, it’s important to remember that these processes are a part of God’s plans for us.
Here are three ways to help kids navigate friendships shifting and changing:
- Even though people change, our identity in Christ never changes. When reflecting on life five years ago, I’m betting we all are a bit different now than we were then. Change, and growth are tools used by God to bring us closer to Him…when we are faced with unfamiliar territory it can drive us straight to God if we will go to Him with the difficulty. Our relationship with Christ, our identity in Him, His love for us, and His desire for relationship with us are all things that go without change. We can lean on what our steadfast Father when relationships begin changing and we don’t understand it.
- Changes in friendships are an opportunity for us to reflect inwardly about how we might also be changing. A good high school friend of mine went through quite a season of change. Shared interests and hobbies quickly faded, and this person went from being one of my best friends to someone I could hardly hold a conversation with. While (in my eyes) my friend was changing, really, I was changing as much or more! In retrospect, it would’ve been so much better to recognize that I was also subject to the changing effects that come with life, rather than just accuse everyone else of doing so.
- Change is a process by which God draws people closer to Him. Change, especially regarding friendships, is difficult most of the time. It is crucial to remember God uses it for our benefit. He mercifully allows us to enter difficult situations to show us how much we need Him and how faithful He is to provide for us. God wants us to know Him and be closer to Him.
When we pursue a Christ-like life, we become more like Him when we change from our old ways. We will change, and others will change; the challenge is to utilize those changes to better honor God in all we think, say, and do!
Most importantly, He does not change, and His love is steadfast. Praise Him so!
How can you seek to grow closer to God when your friendships change? When big changes in life happen? How will you give thanks to Him throughout the process?