Choosing Good Friends
Importance of Good Friends
Do you remember your best friends in junior high and senior high school? Think back to the impact they had on what you did, where you went, what you watched or listened to, and what you thought was cool. Friends are a really important part of our lives and especially in our teenage years. Can you recall the friends your parents liked or didn’t like? Why do you suppose they formed those opinions? Were they accurate?
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friendship and the influence of others on your life.
- Real friends stick by you
- Money attracts fake friends
- Friends tell us the truth even when it hurts
- Don’t be friends with angry people
- And much more!
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)
Lack of Wisdom
Teenagers tend to to be unwise in their choice of companions and friends. They assume that they will not give in to the influence of others. They immaturely think that they will not be judged by the way their friends act. Teenagers often choose friends based on common interests or the coolness factor. They are not usually thinking of the consequences. That’s where we should look for the opportunity to help them.
Parents Be Careful!
Our goal in guiding our teenagers to choose good friends should be to help them see God’s wisdom and learn how to make good choices. Teenagers are very protective of their friends and feel like we are attacking them personally when we talk negatively about their friends. We need to approach the subject carefully without calling names or labeling their companions. We also need to be cautious about making assumptions and jumping to conclusions based on limited information. It’s always better to ask questions and let your teenager answer and possibly arrive at a conclusion himself. When our children are younger we can make outright decisions about friends, but at this stage, we should be guiding them in how to make good choices and reserve the veto for extreme cases.
P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.
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