Summary: For our children to learn about Biblical friendships, we must model friendship for them. They need to see us involved in friendships where God can strengthen and shape our lives.
What Parents Owe Their Children: A Pattern of Friendship
Everyone needs friends. Our children as they grow make and break friendships. And there have been plenty of sermons and lessons documenting how friendships can break our children. We all want our children to have the right kind of friendships, the kind of friendships that grow them and bless them in their walk with Christ.
Where do our children learn what friendship really is? From us. So we have to model for our children what a friend really is.
What does the Bible say about friendship?
A Friend is a Companion
They like you for who you are
o “The sweet smell of incense can make you feel good, but true friendship is better still.” Proverbs 27:9, CEV
o I like what Erma Bombeck said about friends. She said, “A friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even though you’re a little cracked.”
(Visa commercial – Hogettes – Accepted anywhere…)
They look to your interests as well as their own
o “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:4, NLT
o Story of a neighbor he had who was trying to put a TV antenna on his roof, but was having a terrible time. Hewett decided to give him a hand. He went over and took with him his best tools and soon had the antenna up. His neighbor asked him what he made with such fancy tools. Hewett replied, “Friends, mostly.”
o A farmer was detained for questioning about an election scandal. "Did you sell your vote?" the attorney asked. "No sir, not me," the farmer protested. "I voted for that there fella ’cause I liked him." "Come, now," threatened the attorney. "I have evidence that he gave you fifty dollars for a vote." "Well, now," the farmer said, "it’s plain common sense that when a fella gives you fifty dollars you like him."
o Someone has said that in each of our lives, there is a gauge that measures our emotional health. It is like a gas gauge on the dashboard of our car. When it is all the way over to empty, we had better go to the gas station and get filled up or we will break down. We fill it up and the needle goes over to full. There are friends that when you spend time with them, our gauge goes all the way over to full.
They look beyond your faults or mistakes
o “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.” Proverbs 11:12 (NIV)
o “One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.” Proverbs 17:9 (NRSV)
o “Home, Home on the Range.” There is a line that says, “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true of every home?
o Saying - "If you really want to know who your friends are, just make a mistake!"
A Friend is a Collaborator
In the challenges of the day
o “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help.” (NCV) Ecc. 4: 9-10