Yesterday, I read “When the Good Friends Are Dangerous” to my kids. I asked them what they thought about the article, and I asked them how they could be a godly friend, not just a good friend.
David pointed out that you can’t be a godly friend if your own heart is not right with God. That’s a good observation.
Honestly, I think this is the crux of why we parents long for spiritual giants to be friends with our children. We’re hoping some of that will rub off on our kids. It’s such a weighty matter that I’m stopped short by this desire. I ache and I pray for spiritual growth in my children. I’m reminding myself that my greatest parenting priority is to model and teach our children how to have a walk with God, not to put all my hopes in a good friend’s influence.
The kids had other thoughts. Praying for our friends. Encouraging them to do right. (This seemed to be the most common thought from them, that a godly friend is essentially a spiritual policeman. I don’t think this attitude is unique to our children, but it bothers me. They all acknowledged that they have friends who have encouraged them to do right, so it’s not all one sided.)
I asked them if they thought being a godly friend meant you could ask a friend to pray for a spiritual weakness, or trouble they had. This idea seemed a little counter-intuitive to them, because in their mind, “godly friend” equals “spiritually superior friend.” I explained that godly friends speak truth, and allow friends to pray for them. One-sided friendships are rarely satisfying.
How about you? What things would you like to talk about with your kids as you encourage them to be a godly friend?