Recently I’ve been teaching my children about becoming the kind of friend that glorifies God and builds up the Church. In today’s article, I want to share with you the ten points I’ve been teaching my children about Christian friendship:

  1. Consider your friends. Are they a friend of Christ? Worldly interests, athletics, being co-workers, having a similar sense of humor, being a mom or dad, skin color, culture, ethnic background, or even sharing the same blood relation are all fitting for a superficial connection. However, to have a friend that sticks closer than a brother, Christ must be the foundation of this kind of deep friendship. Even If you have nothing else superficially in common, Christ must be the common thread that will tie your hearts together. Only then will you have what’s most important in common.
  2. Find a friend who won’t flatter you. They shouldn’t be fearful of your feelings. They aren’t real friends if they cheer you on in your sin. If they see spiritual danger in your life and decide that saying nothing to keep the peace is the best option, this results from a lack of biblical love. Having a girl squad or a boy’s club that relies on flattery and false pretenses isn’t worth it. Find Christian friends that encourage you by pointing you to Christ and His Word for your life.
  3. A godly friend will not elevate your friendship. They won’t make your friendship into an idol. They don’t ultimately need your companionship to fulfill a deep “soul need” because Christ is in His rightful place in their life. A good friend won’t put you in that place because they know you can’t ultimately meet their deepest needs.
  4. A godly friend will place Scripture as the authority in your friendship. Remember how quickly friendships can get off course when feelings are hurt, and forgiveness must be practiced. Good friends are humble friends and take reconciliation seriously. A good friend is a forgiving friend, for they who have been forgiven much will forgive easily and often because of Christ.
  5. Godly friendships are often built by serving alongside one another, praying together, and studying the Scriptures together. Fun events, night outs, and dinner dates make for a fun evening but aren’t the meat of a Christian friendship. Those who pray for you, serve alongside you, and dive into Scripture with you are the best kind of Christian friend.
  6. A godly friend isn’t a perfect friend, only Christ can be that friend, but they are committed to “doing” sanctification with you. Trust that the Lord will complete the good work He has started in both of you.
  7. A godly friend won’t want to be your only friend. They’ll encourage other friendships in your life and won’t want to build walls around your friendship. They know that you need others to speak into your life just like they do. Usually, “best friends” can grow into something unhealthy. It’s good to have many godly friends.
  8. Godly friends are sometimes lifetime friends, and sometimes they are friends for a season. Godly friends proceed with maturity when it’s time to spend less time with one another.
  9. Godly friends tell you the most truth. Not their truth, not worldly wisdom truth, but truth carefully defined and applied from the Word of God.
  10. Godly friends will encourage and exhort. They speak the truth in love, not just to wound but to help bring healing. A good friend will try to be measured with their words and seek to know if a word of encouragement or rebuke is needed. Sometimes listening is better than advice, and heart motives matter.

Lastly, I want them to know that there is no such thing as a perfect friend, as any relationship will have its conflicts and sin issues. However, how we deal with these things can make a solid life-giving friendship that honors Jesus. I want my children to focus more on becoming this friend than finding one.

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