As parents we watch closely who our children play with. No matter the age of our children, we know the way they speak, act, and think is deeply affected by the friendships they develop.
So as loving parents we look for, pray for, and try to direct our kids to other children who will bring out the best in them. If we are honest with ourselves, we do a lot of creative thinking and maneuvering to steer our kids away from friends who are not a good influence on them.
I know we shouldn’t over protect our kids. I know God has his eye on them. I know our kids can influence others for good, but that is all for another post.
I want to turn this back to you and me now. How are your friends influencing you?
How are your friends influencing you?
This past August my family and I moved 2500 miles across the country from Salem, Oregon to Nashville, Tennessee with our four kids and our dog, Hampton. In the process, we left friends we had grown up with for more than twenty years. These are friends who have cried with us, prayed with us and laughed with us. These are friends we have celebrated with at baby showers, stood by in each other’s weddings and had each other’s backs.
This past weekend my friend David flew from Bend, Oregon to Nashville, Tennessee just to spend the weekend reconnecting. We watched Marcus Mariota, we laughed, we prayed, we ate a lot of BBQ and we challenged each other as dads, husbands and friends.
David inspires me and challenges me to be the best that I can possibly be. He is a Proverbs 17:17 friend:
“A friend loves as at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”
Araya Sunshine and I are developing some wonderful new friendships here in Middle Tennessee, but you don’t simply replace guys like David. It’s going to take time. However long it takes,
I know deep in my soul that if I want to be the best parent and spouse I can be then I need friends that challenge and inspire me.
I can’t expect my kids to develop friendships who bring out the best in them if I don’t have those kind of friendships myself.
So here is my question for you. Do you need to add a friend? It’s risky to ask someone to be your friend. To be the kind of friend that doesn’t let you play it safe, the kind of friend that will tell you your wrong, the kind of friend that will cheer you on, the kind of friend that will fly across the country to be with you. It’s risky.
It’s even riskier to try and go it alone, to never let anyone in, to pretend like you’re fine. I know you want to be a great parent, I know you want to be a great spouse so maybe it’s time to evaluate your friendships.
1-Who are the friends that have loved, challenged, and inspired you? It’s time to let them know. Stop reading and send a text or an email right now.
2-Who are the friends that negatively influence you? In the words of Elsa from Frozen, “Let it go!” Unless you are compelled to keep this friendship, don’t.
3-Do you need to add some Proverbs 17:17 friends? Start looking and praying for friends who challenge and inspire you. If you want to be the best parent you can be, you can’t get there without great friends.