IT’S THE FRIENDS THAT COUNT
Deuteronomy 30:2, “Return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Our walk with the Lord must include our children. They should be included in every part of it. Of course, this is our vision. We all long that our children will walk with the Lord. How is it then that some children grow up in a godly home and yet turn away to a rebellious lifestyle? I believe that it is not only our parental guidance but our children’s friends who will influence their lives. Especially when children get to their teens, peer pressure becomes very powerful. It can even overpower parent pressure! When I talk to parents or to the young people who have gone astray, I usually find that it is because of ungodly peer pressure.
I talked to a girl yesterday who was homeschooled in a lovely Christian home. She became rebellious and got into smoking, drinking, and sex. How on earth did this happen? She said she got into bad company in her homeschool and church youth group! Help! Yes, bad company can be found anywhere. We cannot expect that our children will be in good company just because they are in a church youth group or even a homeschool group. We need to constantly check out their friends. We must always know where they are and who they are with.
I believe it is important to establish good friendships for your children even before they hit the teenage years. If they establish solid friendships with those who are a good influence before they are teens, they will be off to a good start. How can you do this? One of the greatest blessings Colin and I found as we raised our children was to have loads of hospitality. We invited families to our home with children of similar ages to our children. We encouraged the good influences. Their boys would stay with our boys. Our boys would stay with them. The girls’ friends would stay with our girls and vice versa. We did not allow this carelessly, but only with the children and teens we could trust and knew their families inside out. We knew what went on in their homes because we were in and out of their homes ourselves.
It is a fact that the more functions and gatherings you can have in your home that includes other “good influencing” young people, the more blessed your teens will be. They love fun and loads of people around.
This was one of the complaints of the girl I talked to yesterday. She said her parents didn’t like to have people to their home and therefore she missed out on the joy of company of other young people through the ministry of hospitality. Because of her own experience she says that when she raises her family that she will freely show hospitality in order to provide friendships for her children.
When our boys were young they started making go-karts and racing them. They then got into Moto-cross riding. Now they are in their mid-forties, they still enjoy getting out on their Moto-cross bikes to relax and burn off some speed! But when they were young, they did this with their friends who we also loved and trusted. They enjoyed doing the “real guy” stuff, but they did it in good company. That was the secret.
It is amazing that our boys and the “Walton” boys are still like brothers today. Although the Walton boys live in New Zealand and our boys now live in the States, they are still in contact. They have been involved in ministry and evangelism together over the years. And recently, Anthony Walton, and our son, Wes, set up Global Tribe together which is being powerfully used to bring practical help and the gospel to many countries of the world. Check out www.globaltribe.com
When children get to the teen years, they feel the need for company. They love to hang out with friends. Therefore they need to be hanging out with the right friends—the wise ones! They will be steered by the company they keep. The other night the young people in our home spent the evening with another family in our fellowship who also has young people. They through they may watch a movie but they didn’t even get to it. The mother of the home asked a question and they got talking—and they kept talking until 3.00 am in the morning—and they were still asking and answering questions on the way home! They talked about real things, the qualities they desire in a husband and wife and about the principles of marriage. They didn’t do this on their own but in the company of the parents of the home. They couldn’t stop talking about how they enjoyed the evening and how they learned so much. As they hung out together with “wise” friends, they became wiser. Read Proverbs 13:20.
We love to talk about “life” subjects around our dinner table in the evenings and it is more fun the more young people who surround to the table.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, Above Rubies
“Oh Lord, I want my children to be part of my walk with You. Show us how to keep us all following hard after you as a family. Amen.”
I’m taking my family with me as we journey for the Lord—every day, every month, and every year!
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