Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Godly friends for Godly kids

Friendships are such a huge part of our lives.  Living in community molds us and shapes us in ways that can't be duplicated.  For better or for worse.

The same stands true for our children.  We can cook the right foods.  We can homeschool with the right curriculum.  We can choose the right movies.  But our children will seek our friends.  And if we're not parenting with our eyes wide open, those friendships can take our kids down a road we'd never wish for them.

We were made for community and the same holds true for our kids.  Whether we're ready or not, they will begin to seek out relationships outside of our family unit.  That's why it's so important that we take an active role in discussing friendships before hand.  How important are friendships for our kids?  Priceless!

At a very young age, we start talking with our kids about their friends.  What does it mean to be a friend?  How can you be a friend to someone else?  What do you do when a friend asks you to disobey your parents?  We start brainstorming the possible scenarios that could arise.  And we keep asking questions.

We've also found it very helpful to encourage the godly friends that come.  It's easier to make an effort for those relationships we want to foster.  Playdates and sleepovers come with a select few friends.  Friendships we're anxious to encourage.

So how can you know if this is a friendship you want to encourage?

*Do they get into trouble together?--Curiousity and age play a factor here, but you'll know when it's just youth and when it's harmful.

*Does the friend have a good relationship with their parents?

*Does he/she have a good relationship with other authority figures?

*Can he/she be encouraged toward being a servant?

*Does he/she have a concept of Christ as Savior and discipling in that path?

*Is he/she quick to repent?

And what if a friend doesn't quite reach this standard?  Those are the friendships I watch even closer.  Those friendship times are more closely supervised and prayed over.  Just this week, we invited a friend to come over.  While this little boy's family is not following the Lord, this is a friendship that I'm hanging on to.  He's one of my son's dearest friends and I can see already that he's not going anywhere soon.  So I'd rather be a strong influence in his life before he becomes an even stronger influence in Noah's.

And of course, this all comes down to the Lord's leading.  My goal is to always shepherd my children in those moments that they're not ready for on their own.  Still for me, I find myself leaning on the Lord's wisdom in all those situations.  Ultimately we are preparing our children for life outside our homes.  So this is training ground for all of us.

What do you think?  Have you given much thought to your children's friendships?


Anonymous said...

hi! Now following from FNF blog hop...appropriate for your posting! :-)

I did enjoy reading your daughter is only 2, & right now she adores the whole world & everyone in it! You definitely given me something to think about!

I liked your FB fan page also!
Hope you like me back:

Shana said...

I think you are so right with kids and friends! We really do have to teach our kids how to choose their friends wisely. Following you from the Finding New Friends Weekend Hop. Would love a follow back on my blog:  Prowling Books In the Lair. Thanks!

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