Your cart is empty now.
As parents, we want our children to enjoy a sense of belonging and grow lifelong friendships because we know relationships are important for their wellbeing and quality of life. But like any life-skill, kids will thrive when they have the guidance of loving parents. While some kids may have an easier time making friends, every child can grow in this area. Here are four things you can teach your children about growing godly friendships.
To have friends, be a good friend
The best way to make friends is to be friendly. Has your child ever said “No one wants to be my friend”? That’s not uncommon, but could it be because they are waiting for others to make the first move? Help your child learn to be friendly by demonstrating it. Smile and strike up a conversation in the grocery line. Share a resource with your neighbor. Be generous with your compliments. These examples will sow good seed into their lives. It’s also important to have regular conversations about the qualities that make a good friend. You’ll be teaching them how to be a good friend but also what a good friend should look like for them, which will help them set healthy relationship boundaries as they mature. So what do good friends do?
Don’t compromise your character to fit in.
It’s far too easy to go along with the crowd in order to be accepted. Let’s teach our kids to be courageous. Having lots of friends at the expense of doing what is right is never worth it. This won’t be easy, but your support as a parent will go a long way to help them make this hard decision when necessary. Psalm 119:1-3 “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.”
Choose your friends wisely.
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Friends will have a profound influence on your child’s life. As parents, you have the role and right to speak into your child’s friendships. Know who your kids are hanging out with, what they are doing, and if these friends have similar values. The key is keeping the lines of communications open, letting your child know you are operating from a place of love and concern for them.
Remember Jesus is your ultimate friend.
Teach your children from an early age that Jesus is the best friend they could ever know, and tell them often how much you love them. Kids who know they are valued and loved at home and by God will have a much easier time making new friends. They will be more secure in their Psalm 139 identity, created by Him on purpose and for a good purpose. They will also be less likely to look to their peers for things that only God can give. So, tell your child every day you love them, and remind them that God’s love for them is never changing, never failing, and never-ending.
FaithLit Note: This blog post was written by Karen Ferguson. The author of "Guess How Much God Loves You." A book we so badly wanted to fit into our book boxes this year but we just couldn't make it work. We encourage you to check out this book and the rest of Karen's work using the links below.