Helping Your Child Make Friends the Right Way

Emmanuel Abimbola

Emmanuel Abimbola

Contributing Writer
Updated Jun 20, 2024
Helping Your Child Make Friends the Right Way

Guide your child in setting healthy boundaries in their friendships. Help them understand that it's okay to walk away from friendships that lead them away from God or compromise their values (Proverbs 13:20).

When kids make friends, they learn critical life lessons like sharing, empathy, and teamwork. These relationships provide company and a level of support above and beyond the family unit during the highs and lows of youth.

Friendships not only help our kids feel better about themselves but also provide them with acceptance and value for who they are. 

They're also a lot of fun! The catch, though, is that not every friendship is made equal. As parents of faith, we are more concerned with something than just getting our kids playmates. 

We want our principles and views to be reflected in the friendships they select, especially those that stem from our faith. You want to guide your precious child in the ways of the Lord and nurture them with a heart that longs for righteousness and love.

Therefore, to raise our children to honor the Lord in whatever they do, it is our duty as Christian parents to teach them in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). This entails educating them on how to select companions who uphold these principles and who will accompany them on their journey of faith.

We must know how friendships may shape our children's attitudes, convictions, and behavior. We specifically choose the company they keep because we want to be in relationships that encourage and uplift rather than distract. Shielding kids from the world is less important than giving them the skills they need to navigate it with grace and discernment.

Thus, to assist our kids in making friends, we search for kindred spirits who will uphold their beliefs and accompany them on their journey towards the light rather than just playmates. It's a noble calling, but we can raise brightly shining children in a world in need of hope if we follow God's guidance and show them our unwavering love.

The Importance of Godly Friendships

Let me paint you a picture: Picture your child surrounded by friends who walk hand in hand on the path of spiritual growth, who encourage one another in faith, and who love God with all of their hearts. That's the power of godly friendship.

For us Christian parents, friendships shouldn't just be about playground games and sleepovers; they're spiritual soil where seeds of faith are planted and nurtured. When our children connect with peers who share their love for the Lord, something beautiful happens! They're encouraged to pray together, study the Bible, and seek God's wisdom in all they do. This is like having a built-in support system for their souls!

Benefits of Similar Values and Beliefs

When our children befriend others who hold similar values and beliefs, it's like finding treasure in a field (Matthew 13:44). These friendships provide a safe space where they can be themselves, where they're understood and accepted for their faith-filled hearts. They're surrounded by positive influences that reinforce the truths we've instilled in them, like love, kindness, and forgiveness.

But it's not just about what they receive; it's also about what they give. In godly friendships, our children have the opportunity to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), shining God's love into the lives of their friends and pointing them towards the narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). It's a beautiful exchange of blessings, where iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) and hearts are knit together in love.

Proverbs 13:20 reminds us, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." When we surround ourselves with wise, God-fearing friends, we enrich our lives and steer away from folly.

Then there's 1 Corinthians 15:33, which warns us, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." The company we keep can either uplift us or drag us down, so it's crucial to choose friends who align with our values and beliefs.

Who could forget about David and Jonathan? Their friendship in the Bible is a shining example of loyalty, love, and mutual encouragement (1 Samuel 18:1-4). They stood by each other through thick and thin, reminding us of the beauty and power of godly friendships.

So, let's encourage our children to seek out friends who share their love for the Lord, knowing that these relationships are not just for a season but for eternity.

Modeling Godly Friendships as Parents

As parents, we're our children's first teachers, and that includes showing them what godly friendships look like in action. It's not just about preaching; it's about walking the talk and living out our faith in the everyday moments of life.

Your child watches as you interact with your friends; they witness the love, respect, and kindness you share. They see how you prioritize friendships with fellow believers, how you lean on each other in times of need, and how you lift one another in prayer. This is like planting seeds of faith in their hearts—seeds that will grow into a garden of godly relationships.

When we model godly friendships as parents, we're laying a foundation for our children to build upon. We're showing them the importance of surrounding themselves with friends who share their values and beliefs, friends who will encourage them in their walk with the Lord. It's a powerful lesson that speaks louder than words ever could.

So, how do we put this into practice? Here are a few examples to get us started:

Let your child see you praying with and for your friends. Whether it's a quick prayer over coffee or a heartfelt intercession during a tough time, show them the power of lifting each other in prayer (James 5:16).

Get involved in serving others alongside your friends. Whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen, participating in a mission trip, or simply helping a neighbor in need, demonstrate the joy of serving together in love (Galatians 5:13).

Host gatherings with other believers where laughter, love, and encouragement abound. Let your child experience the warmth of the Christian community and the joy of fellowship (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Model healthy conflict resolution in your friendships. Show your child how to communicate honestly, forgive readily, and reconcile with grace (Ephesians 4:32).

Open your home to friends, welcoming them with open arms and a generous spirit. Let your child see the beauty of hospitality and the blessing of sharing life with others (Romans 12:13).

By living out these principles in our friendships, we're not just teaching our children about godly relationships; we're giving them a roadmap for navigating their friendships with wisdom and grace. So, let's lead the way, my friend, and show our children the beauty of godly friendships in action.

Teaching Children to Choose Godly Friends

Teaching our little ones how to choose friends who honor God is like giving them a compass for their hearts, guiding them toward friendships that will uplift and strengthen their faith. 

Here are some practical tips and strategies to get started:

1. Encourage Prayer: Teach your child to pray about their friendships. Encourage them to ask God for wisdom in choosing friends who will help them grow closer to Him (James 1:5). Remind them that God cares about every aspect of their lives, including their friendships.

2. Emphasize Shared Values: Talk to your child about the importance of surrounding themselves with friends who share similar values and beliefs. Help them identify what qualities they value in a friend, such as kindness, honesty, and a love for God's Word (Proverbs 27:9).

3. Lead by Example: Model godly friendships in your own life, both in your interactions with others and in the friendships you cultivate. Let your child see firsthand the beauty of friendships grounded in love, respect, and faith (John 13:34-35).

4. Teach Discernment: Help your child develop discernment in their friendships. Teach them to look beyond surface appearances and to pay attention to how their friends treat others, how they speak, and how they make others feel (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

5. Set Boundaries: Guide your child in setting healthy boundaries in their friendships. Help them understand that it's okay to walk away from friendships that lead them away from God or compromise their values (Proverbs 13:20).

6. Encourage Community: Build a sense of Christian community for your child by getting involved in church activities, youth groups, and other Christian organizations. Surround them with positive influences who will support and encourage them in their faith journey (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Why We Must Teach Our Children Discernment

Our children need to develop a keen sense of discernment to navigate the tricky waters of friendship in a world filled with distractions and temptations.

By teaching them to be discerning, we're equipping them to recognize the difference between godly friendships that uplift and edify and those that lead them astray. We're empowering them to make wise choices that honor God and protect their hearts from harm.

Discernment isn't about being judgmental or exclusive; it's about being wise and discerning in our choices. It's about seeking God's guidance and relying on His wisdom to lead us on the path of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

Trusting in God's Guidance for Our Children's Friendships

Trusting in God's guidance as we navigate the journey of helping our children make friends in a godly manner is a road filled with twists, turns, and unexpected detours, but one thing remains constant: God's unfailing love and wisdom.

Lean on God's wisdom. When it comes to our children's friendships, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of the right path to take. But here's the thing: we don't have to have all the answers because we serve a God who does. He knows the desires of our hearts, and He cares deeply about every aspect of our lives, including our children's friendships (Psalm 37:5).

So, when you're feeling uncertain or anxious about your child's friendships, lean on God's wisdom. Take comfort in knowing that He sees the bigger picture, and He's working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Trust in His timing, His provision, and His perfect plan for your child's life.

This allows you to rest in God's promises as you navigate the ups and downs of helping your child make godly friends. Remember that He is with you every step of the way, guiding, protecting, and providing for you and your family (Isaiah 41:10).

Trust in His unfailing love, His unending grace, and His perfect wisdom. Rest in the assurance that He is faithful to fulfill His promises, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

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Emmanuel Abimbola headshotEmmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.