She was about 3 years old the first time I felt God tap me on the shoulder, making me aware of the need to begin praying for my daughter in the area of friendships. We had arrived at our local library, and she excitedly made her way to the room where the eagerly anticipated, weekly story time was held. As soon as we entered the room, and Brianna saw the group of children sitting on the floor, she walked over, plopped herself down in between two little girls, and put an arm around the shoulder of each girl. From that moment on, I began to pray that God would help Brianna to learn to be discerning as she grew up, learn to choose the right kind of friends, and that I would have wisdom to know how to teach her to be a godly friend.
We can’t control what other parents teach their children, but we have the responsibility to teach our children what the Bible considers to be the most important character traits of a godly friendship. Here are some scriptures we can use as our guide:
What does Scripture Say About Friendship?
We Should Not Be Characterized As One Who:
Is an angry person (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Lacks self-control (Proverbs 23:20-21)
Is rebellious against authority (Proverbs 24:21-22)
Is proud, likes to debate, argue, slander, and be heard (1 Tim. 6:4-5)
Uses foul language, who is immoral in thought or deed, who is greedy, or dishonest. (I Cor. 5:11)
Is disobedient (2 Thess 3:14)
Is prideful and who slanders another (Ps. 101:5)
Is a liar, or who is deceitful (Ps. 101:7)
Is not repentant or is caught up in habitual sin. (Pr. 1:10-15)
Speaks too freely and doesn’t think before he speaks (Proverbs 20:19)
We Should be Characterized As One Who:
Uses the Word of God as the ultimate authority in giving counsel (Ps. 1:1)
Does not live or speak foolishly (Pr. 9:6)
Is not divisive and contentious (Rom. 16:17)
Is willing to sharpen another with the truths of the Word of God, and is willing to be sharpened (Pr. 27:17) “
Is willing to give gentle, loving reproof, but also willing to receive it (Pr. 27:6 )
Is growing in wisdom and encouraging others to do the same (Pr. 13:20)
Can be trusted (Pr. 11:13)
Is loyal and loves even when times are hard or a person is difficult (Pr. 17:17 )
Fears God and seeks to obey Him (Ps. 119:63)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
We know that the friendships that our daughter’s make can have a huge influence on their and it’s easy to become fearful as they begin to venture out into different relationships. We don’t want to be one of those moms who blames all of her child’s bad choices on the influences of others. We need teach our girls what God’s Word says about what they should BE as a friend, and that ultimately they will be held accountable for the way they have lived out their own friendships. When we teach them that truth, we will have given them the gift of a sobering reminder of what God desires from them.
SOMETHING TO PRAY
“Lord, please help us to teach our children, in word and in example, to be the kind of friend that YOU want us to be, and Please help us to show each other grace as we grow in our understanding of what that means. Amen.”
Proverbs 12:26 “A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.”
Mark 12:30-31 ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.