As I go through the process of parenting two teenage girls, I’ve found something I often heard to be true. Friends play a big part in their lives.
While I believe that the most important influence continues to be us as parents, their friends can either help or hinder what we’re trying to teach our children during these years.
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As with every area of their lives, the most important thing we can do is to pray over their friendships. I pray almost daily that our girls will have wisdom and discernment in their relationships. I desire for them to have strong, life-giving friendships with those who will be loyal, honest, and loving. Most of all, I want them to be surrounded by peers who will encourage them to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Below are six quotes, wisdom from others, that I want to pass along to my daughters as they consider how to be and how to find good friends.
1. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” ~Proverbs 18:24.
With our oldest daughter heading off to a college where she doesn’t have close friends, she’ll be in a position to reach out in friendship to others. And if/when loneliness starts to creep in, I want her to realize that Jesus will always be her closest friend. In fact, He can meet needs in her that no friend, no matter how close, ever can.
2. “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” ~Henry Ford
A true friend makes us a better person. It’s good to ask, “Am I blessed and encouraged when I’m with this friend, or do I feel ‘less-than’ or discouraged after we’ve been together?”
Conversely, ask “Am I able to help my friend grow and shine through the way I treat her?”
3. “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” ~Khalil Gibran
View friendships through the lens of what you can give to others, not what you can get from them. Be the friend you would like to have.
4. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” ~George Washington
It takes time to build trust, so be careful who you share your deepest thoughts and feelings with. Be just as careful to keep the trust that is given to you by a friend.
I’ve heard it said that you will only have a few truly close friends throughout your lifetime. Treasure those people with whom you can build lasting relationships!
5. “Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or to keep one.” ~Robert E. Lee
A true friend will not ask you to do anything that he or she knows goes against your beliefs. Don’t let peer pressure cause you to act foolishly. Remember Proverbs 13:20. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
6. “When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.” ~W. Somerset Maugham
Value those who are true to themselves and who live in a way that is God-honoring. It’s easy to be attracted to those who are popular or funny, but make sure they are also good, kind people.
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I think it goes without saying that these truths apply to our adult friendships as well! Good friends can be a blessing in the lives of our teenagers and in our lives, too.