Teach Them What Constitutes a Good Friend, And Why Their Decisions on Friendship Are Important
The friends that your child selects can either be joyful, or a source of friction in the home. Children need to know what qualities to look for in a good friend and why it is so important.
Your children need to know that a good friend is someone that not only loves God (ideally), but will encourage your child to be the best they can (as opposed to bullying and put-downs), uplift them with a can-do attitude, bring godly wisdom into their lives, act as a positive voice when temptation arises, and have good moral character.
The discussion shouldn’t stop there, though. Children need to understand why these decisions are important. Many kids think that they can witness to others (and should be encourage to- to a degree), but this can also go the wrong way. Others think that they can change less desirable characteristics and end up exhibiting them themselves. It is great to encourage your children to witness to others, however, they need a strong core group of friends to balance out ones that are still maturing in Christ, and a strong character rooted firmly in the Word.
Too many bad influences and the peer pressure that accompanies it can lead your children to succumb to temptation. Bad influences lead your children into destructive behaviors, addictions, poor academic performance, and disharmony in the home.
Learn in this issue how to discuss the importance of godly friends with your children, and what to do if your child may be going down the wrong path. It is never too late to look out for your child, as a parent, because you only want the best for them. Also, parents with their wisdom, often see things that their children don’t. Children need to learn to rely on this wisdom in order to mature into adults and in their faith. This will be very important as dating enters the scene. A self-confident child will make good decisions and not be easily manipulated. Children who have a negative self-concept will easily fall prey.
Most of all, pray wisdom over your children. Pray that they are not easily deceived or swayed. Know your children’s friends and their parents. Invest the time in getting to know them- it will pay dividends.
Our next issue will be available June 27, 2016.