Friendship ought to be mutual and reciprocal…
Teaching our children about friendship is an extremely important part of our training our children in righteousness, proper manners/decorum, giving, sharing, love and respect. We train them to love and obey God and their parents, to love their siblings, friends and neighbors. We teach them to love and forgive their enemies. Today, as we look out in society, we see little of this and the value of life and the fellowship one with another is greatly depreciated. Our children need training in how to build and maintain good healthy relationships and we as parents should be teaching them, not only in principle but also as an example in our relationships with one another.
“What we must do that we may contract and cultivate friendship; we must show ourselves friendly. Would we have friends and keep them, we must not only not affront them, or quarrel with them, but we must love them, and make it appear that we do so by all expressions that are endearing, by being free with them, pleasing to them, visiting them and bidding them welcome, and especially by doing all the good offices we can and serving them in every thing that lies in our power; that is showing ourselves friendly. That it is worth while to do so, for we may promise ourselves a great deal of comfort in a true friend. A brother indeed is born for adversity, as he had said, Pro_17:17. In our troubles we expect comfort and relief from our relations, but sometimes there is a friend, that is nothing akin to us, the bonds of whose esteem and love prove stronger than those of nature, and, when it comes to the trial, will do more for us than a brother will. Christ is a friend to all believers that sticks closer than a brother; to him therefore let them show themselves friendly.”_John Gill
This begs the question then: Are we obeying God in our relationships with one another? Are we being a “true” and “biblical” friend that reflects a Christ-like heart and service? Are we training our children in the art of “friendship”? We all need help daily in this area because we, like our children, are self-centered, me only thinking people but God can help us by grace to be friends and friendly. In a day of “social networking” for us and our children, this is especially important. Think on these things and if you have friends, then show yourself friendly. You might be surprised with blessings!
In addition to God’s Word giving us excellent advice on training our children, a great little book by William & Colleen Dedrick entitled “The Little Book of Christian Character and Manners” is excellent in teaching Christian character and manners in our children. [See my recommended reading list at the link above for an excellent list of must-read books.]
Living Coram Deo,
Editor & Publisher,