There are few things more damaging than the influence of close friends who aren’t in step with God. I’ve seen this happen in my own life, which is why I strive to surround my daughter with Christian influence. She’s fourteen-years-old and soon she’ll be participating in more activities on her own, like going to the mall with a friend, or babysitting at a house with unsupervised access to a computer and phone. When she’s out of my sight I need to know that I have given her the necessary tools to handle herself appropriately.
The nurture of Christian friends reinforces what we teach, rather than tearing it down. And we can start building that support system while they are young.
I take Madison to youth group every Friday night, and to church on Sunday morning, and I pray that God will bring people into her life that will sharpen her.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. ~ Proverbs 27:17, NIV
Iron sharpens iron, but sharpening is especially vital in the early years of adult development. From the ages of 16-25 many decisions are made that change the course of our life for good or for bad. Having faith-focused friends that keep you from falling is vital. In fact we’re often more likely to confide in our friends than we are in our parents at that age. With that in mind we have to wonder what advice they’re receiving.
I have knocked on doors to get my son friends because he was too shy to do so himself. He’s now 20-years-old and his closest friend is a boy I set him up with when they were about 5. Both were home schooled for a good part of their lives and I always knew that when he was at their house he would be dragged out of bed for church in the morning. In addition, we have made an effort to make our house a fun place for kids to hang out so that we can be there to witness the relationships that they form.
As we raise and nurture these little ones into adulthood, I pray that God will surround our children with faith-focused support. We can start building that system now so when they do finally step out on their own, they’ll have a foundation.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV
You are loved by an almighty God,