Making Friends: Part Two
How do we teach our kids what is a friend?
Last week we talked about the struggle of making friends as adults (Making Friends Part One)
This week I wanted to talk about the importance of teaching our kids what is a friend.
Seems like an easy question, but truthfully, we often learn what friends are by experience. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good.
As my kids get older, I’m starting to notice the sway my kids' friends are having on my kiddos.
This is a little, no, truthfully, completely terrifying.
When my momma anxiety goes up, it means it’s time to teach and equip my kids. First, we have to start with what makes a good friend.
What makes a friend?
Liking all the same things doesn’t make a good friend.
Common interests often are a starting point for any friendship, but just because there are differences doesn’t mean someone can’t be your friend.
I love how the movie Luca depicted friendship.
Both Luca and Alberto have a shared goal of owning a Vespa, but other than that goal they are very different.
Luca is calm, anxious, and inquisitive. While Alberto is loud, energetic, and impulsive. They bring out the best in each other, and in the end, Alberto puts Luca’s desires above his own, which is the mark of a true friend.
While Luca is a great movie about friendship, Disney isn’t usually my first reference point for equipping my kids. What is?
The Bible of course.
One of the first Bible verses that popped up when I looked into friendships was Proverbs 17:17, a friend loves at all times.’
It’s a good start, but where do we go from here?
An article by A Conscious Rethink lists the 25 Qualities Of A Good Friend, which 2525 Qualities Of A Good Friend, and it goes like this…
- Kind You know this list reminds me of another list.
- Honest Love is Patient
- Protective Love is Kind
- Trustworthy Love does not envy
- Nurturing Love does not boast
- Listen Well It is not proud
- Helpful It is not rude
- Respectful It is not self-seeking
- Open-hearted Not easily angered
- Safe Keeps no records of wrong
- Encouraging Does not delight in evil
- Forgiving Rejoices in the Truth
- Authentic Always protects
- Individual Always trusts
-Adventurous Always hopes
- Playful Always Perseveres
Pretty uncanny how similar the lists are!
I think this is important to communicate to kids that all good relationships have to come from a place of love. Remember that love has several different types not just what is seen in Bridgerton or the latest Rom-Com.
You can also check out my Reclaiming Valentines Resource to help teach your kids more about the concepts in
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, because we know our culture has a flawed view of love.
It's a 16-Day devotional that starts on January 29th.
It's closer than you think. check it out for your family.
What is a Bad Friend?
This element of friendship is not often communicated and is hard to understand. Mostly because we want to believe the best in people, especially those we’ve called friends.
But it is important to understand some warning signs when a friendship becomes unhealthy.
- Someone who always seems to try to one-up you
- When there is an imbalance of talk time- all for the friend, not balanced between the two or you
- When they speak criticism without kindness
- When the friend is always trying to change you
- Feel like you’re walking on eggshells
-Riding an emotional roller coaster with your friend at the controls
- Stress and anxiety are the first emotions when talking with your friend.
A friend will lift you when you fall, not laugh and make fun of your mistake.
What does the Bible say about Friendships?
When I first started researching this, I wasn't sure I would find much, but I was amazed and overwhelmed.
I found over 260 verses talking about friends and friendship throughout the Bible.
Sweet ones like Proverbs 27:9- A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. And challenging ones like 1 Thessalonians 5:11- Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing.
But then I discovered this article from Biblestudytools.com
A few of the points that hit home for me were these:
Friendship is like a covenant, not a contract.
Friendship strengthens the Church community.
Friendship is the goal of the gospel
The cross is the most heroic act of friendship John 15:13
Jesus is our truest friend.
Friendship with God and others is the greatest joy.
These are such sweet reminders of friendship and what our kids need to understand about friendship.
Friendships are a gift and teaching our kids what a good friend is and what a friend is not, is an important task as a parent, while our kids are still willing to listen to us.