Parents, do you ever worry that your children will fall into the wrong crowd? Do you worry about them making bad friends? How can we help them make good friends?
When our children are young we are careful with the movies, books, and television shows we allow into our homes. We are careful to praise them and teach them to say, please and thank-you. We remind them to watch their manners when we are in a restaurant or have company over. We make sure they eat their vegetables, get plenty of sleep, learn to make their beds, and brush their teeth.
Then the day finally comes when we get their first-day school clothes ready, pack their lunches, and send them out of our home and into the uncertain world of school and… new friends. Potentially new influences…
Is there biblical help for parents who want to guide their kids in the important life-skill of making good friends? Yes, as a matter-of-fact…there is. It is found in Psalm 1:1.
Train your kids to choose friends wisely by talking with them about Psalm 1:1. (Note: The verses below are paraphrased from the King James Version. I like using this translation when I am working with kids.)
1. Don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
Some kids don’t love God. Don’t listen to their advice, it will lack wisdom. Talk about who would be a good person to look to for guidance.
2. Don’t stand in the way of sinners.
Some kids have bad habits and do bad things. Don’t do those things or go places with them. Talk about behaviors and activities that are pleasing to God.
3. Don’t sit in the seat of the scornful.
Some kids will make fun of you for loving God and going to church. Don’t sit with or make friends with kids who laugh at God’s kids. Discuss how to handle ridicule and other bullying type actions.
Our kids need supernatural help when making friends. The prayer below is based on Psalm 1:1 and a perfect one to pray for your youngster or even an older child (teen) when beginning to make new friends. You may even want to change the prayer slightly and pray it with your child.
Help my child to know how much you love him and how special he is to his mother and me. I pray that you will help him to become brave enough to stay away from kids who are making bad choices and doing things that are not pleasing to you. Lead him to good friends and I ask that you would help him to be a godly example to the friends that he makes.
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
or stand in the way of sinners,
or sit in the seat of mockers.
What ideas do you use to guide your kids in making positive, godly, and wholesome friendships?
By Doug Drake Children’s Pastor and Ministry Consultant