If we want kids to grow up to be more like Jesus, they should be actively doing more things like Jesus did them.
For example, they should be in intentional relationships with other people. That means choosing their friends wisely.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
It really is true that the friends we choose determine the quality and direction of our life. So that’s why we want to not only encourage our kids to spend time with others as they grow in their relationship with God, but choosing who they spend time with is critical.
What are some circles where we should be encouraging kids to build relationships? Maybe team sports or scouting organizations will give them good lessons in teamwork and working together. Perhaps church groups will give them a place to explore deep questions.
How can we help kids to build healthy, personal relationships with friends in Christian community and outside of Christian community? Being a part of a church is a great way to have your kids build friendships with other followers of Jesus, but how do we encourage them to choose friends wisely outside of a church or Christian school?
Maybe we have a conversation about peer pressure, manners, habits, and how the people we spend time with influence our actions. Maybe you have some other ideas.
Here are a few more suggestions…
1) Encourage consistent attendance at church and engagement in their extracurricular activities. Where we spend time, and who we spend the most time with, influence every aspect of our lives.
2) Make it a point to meet the parents of their friends.
3) Encourage your kids to connect with their friends from youth group or school even outside of organized activities.
When we help our kids know that their friends determine the quality and direction of their life, we can help them learn how to choose friends to spend time with that encourage their walk with God.
OTHER PARTS OF THIS SERIES:
Spiritual Habit 1 – Spend Time with God
Spiritual Habit 2 – Spend Time with Others
Spiritual Habit 3 – Use Your Gifts
Spiritual Habit 4 – Share Your Story