As I look back over my childhood, I recall my mother paying close attention to who I selected as friends. If she saw me making friends with someone she thought was not a healthy relationship, she would gently wean me away from that person. She would tell me that God would always provide two new great friends for every not-so-good-friend that I lost.
Today’s scripture makes it clear that our choice of friends plays a vital role in our lives. This is especially true for teenagers. They are no longer a child, but they are not yet an adult. To fit in, feel valued, develop their “own” identity separate from their parents, or try to figure out who they are, teens tend to pick up many of the values, as well as characteristics, of their friends.
This is a difficult age for teens. They don’t understand their limitations and underestimate or not recognize many dangers. Parents can allow them to make many more independent decisions than in the past, but must enforce boundaries where there are activities or relationships that could cause them harm.
Recognize the peer pressure that will be placed on your teen, and offer alternative answers. Do not “put down” your child’s friends, but rather encourage godly relationships.
Church attendance is very important and should not be optional. Church youth groups can be invaluable sources of godly friends and activities. Encourage your teen to take part in these. Strongly encourage involvement in extra-curricular activities. Sports, band, specialty clubs, dance or music lessons are all possibilities for healthy involvement.
Today, focus on being involved as a family in Godly activities with Godly people having kids the same age as your teenager. Don’t have ungodly relationships yourself…your teen will perceive the hypocrisy. Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your perspective on the importance of Godly relationships for our children.
My Father and my Lord, Lead my children, regardless of their age, into relationships that will influence them in a positive way. Give me wisdom to guide them and courage to protect them. Help me love the friends of whom I do not approve and remember to pray for them also. I pray this and all prayers in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
1 John 2:9,10