Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Importance of Choosing Friends Wisely

One of the areas where many Christian families err is in separating the value and worth of all people from the wisdom of developing close associations or friendships with every one.

I have always taught my children the wisdom of different levels of friendships. There were many "school friends" where I encouraged my children to be a part of encouraging and being a friend to people at school, however my children were not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities with certain "friends" or "associations" from school.

Although it is necessary to teach your children the value and worth of all people, and the importance of making people feel special, you also need to teach them the importance of whom we develop close friendships with. A lot of times I would use myself as an example and demonstrate to them how because I picked my friends wisely I was able to pursue excellence unhindered. I explained how if I had picked my friends unwisely, I would have been headed down different paths.

It amazes me at how many parents are unaware of the importance of who to develop close associations with. Many parents fill their homes with the wrong kind of friends, and then are surprised when their daughter marries a person who is not living the same values as she is.

The Bible has a lot to say about differentiating between associations and friendships, about wisdom in how you choose your close friendships, and about the dangers of choosing friendships with those who are headed down wrong paths or have wrong morals... And interestingly enough the Greek word for "evil" with regards to people is "harmful in effect or influence" - THAT is what makes someone or something EVIL - if it can harm you!

1Corinthians 15:33 Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people. (God's Word)

1Corinthians 15:33 Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.

2Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14 Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?

Psalms 26:4 I do not sit with false persons, nor fellowship with pretenders;...

Proverbs 9:6 Leave off, simple ones [forsake the foolish and simpleminded] and live! And walk in the way of insight and understanding.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks [as a companion] with wise men is wise, but he who associates with [self-confident] fools is [a fool himself and] shall smart for it.

Challenge: Train your children to know the difference of being a friend to all and yet the wisdom God gives us regard our closest friends? (Read the next post regarding how to teach your children to choose their friends wisely.)

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