My Daughters, My Friends

I have 2 daughters.  My oldest just turned 14 this month.  Sarah is so much more spiritually mature than I ever was in at her age.  She is knowledgeable of God’s word and she has a passion to serve Him.  I think that’s a firm foundation that will help her navigate to tumultuous years she is entering into.

 My Daughters, My Friends

I remember the years of my adolescence well.  They were hard. I had questions I couldn’t ask.  I had fears I couldn’t share.  I had a broken heart that no one knew about nor cared about.

These matters weren’t things I could share with just anyone.  I needed a friend with whom I could completely and fully trust my heart with.  I had friends to share a portion of my heart with, but no one to point me to Christ.

My youngest is 9 and she is my ‘baby’.  She amazes me with her prayer life.  Whenever there is a problem, she immediately turns to prayer.  She has also surprised me with her faith.  She has had to struggle with a health issue that has caused shame and embarrassment for her.  As we work through those feelings together, her faith has remained rock solid.  She has expressed her understanding that her problem is preparing her for something BIG God will ask her to do one day.

I sought out counsel to help me cope with the problem and to find practical ways to help my daughter through this.  I was shocked and dismayed to discover that many parents who are dealing with similar issues will shame their children.  I couldn’t imagine my little girl not being able to share her deepest emotions with me so that I could help her navigate the storms of her condition.

That is why I’ve decided to be a friend to my daughters.

Yes, I am their mother; but I am also their friend.

I know this notion is not popular.  There is that well-known saying out there – “I’m not your friend.  I am your mother.  I will lecture you, stalk you, annoy you…blah, blah, blah.”

I just don’t see how that is biblical.  I look at the relationship Jesus desires to have with us.  Is that not the relationship I should model with my children?  Jesus is my friend (John 15:15).  I can trust Him with my heart.  And yet, that friendship does not usurp His authority over my life.

John 1515

I am a friend of God and yet He is still my authority.

My best friend is Jesus, He is my authority.

My husband is my best friend and I am still under his authority.

Friendship and authority co-exist in the 3 most important relationships I have.

It is only reasonable to expect, and encourage, the same in my relationships with my children.

 If-something-is-good

We are to demonstrate to our children the relationship they should have with Christ.  Simply telling them what it should look like won’t be nearly as helpful as actually having that kind of relationship with them.

I am a student of the hearts of my daughters.  I am sensitive to their feelings.  I initiate heart to heart talks with them.  We have so much fun together!

Does the idea of being your child’s friend still make you uncomfortable?  Perhaps it is because you are thinking of the worldly view of ‘friend’.  There is a huge difference between being a godly friend and a worldly friend!  If I don’t demonstrate to my children what a godly friend is, then the world will reveal that friendships are to be ungodly; friendships that don’t point to Christ.

If I show them how a godly friend is supposed the treat them, it is less likely that they will be caught up in an unhealthy friendship.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had friends who weren’t the best for me, or for my marriage.  I don’t want my kids to become unequally yoked with someone who doesn’t have similar values and morals.

unequally yoked

Paul is forbidding us to be in fellowship with idolaters.  This verse is typically used for marrying someone who is not a believer in Christ.  However, it is also for being in a close relationship with anyone who does not play by the same rules.  It is my responsibility to establish godly friendships to my children and the best way to do that is through my friendship with them.

I am a friend to my children.  I am not ashamed of that.  The fruit that is being developed and nurtured through this friendship relationship is incredibly and God-honouring.

note from Sarah

Photo 2 ME

Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC.  Aimee has been blissfully married for 17 years and still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus.  When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and hanging out with her family.  She blogs over at A Work of Grace.  You can find her on facebook, twitter or Pinterest.

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7 comments

  1. Dawn says:

    Yes! I’m right with you Aimee. I’ve never been a fan of that belief that you can’t be you child’s friend. I love how you differentiate the difference between a Godly friend and one who is unequally yoked.

    • Aimee Imbeau says:

      Thank you so much Dawn. I believe friendships with our kids can be built in a very healthy way. And in a way that will help prevent them from getting stuck in unhealthy relationships. At least that is my hope…

  2. Arabah says:

    I appreciate this post Aimee. I certainly want my kids to see me as a friend… because who tells their boss everything?! But their friend? Yep.

  3. Nanette Moran says:

    Right on. I like that you become a student of your child.
    Also, that you place such value on connection. It is so much like our heavenly Father, isn’t it?

  4. Dawn says:

    Thank you for this encouragement. I have been guilty if the very comment above,’ I am their mom, not their friend at this moment. ‘ But like you, I have a daughter with serioius health issues and she needs my friendship, sometimes more than my mothering. Because, ultimately, I will always be mom and that can’t be separated.
    And the reflection on Jesus as oir friend and Lord, together is such a tangible lesson on how we can do that.
    Blessed by your words,
    Dawn

    • Aimee Imbeau says:

      I read these comments from you beautiful ladies last Friday. I have held them in my heart since then. I believe that God orchestrates such beautiful plans – even the simplest thing makes a huge impact for someone. And I want you all to know just what your comments above have meant for me the last several days. Last week, my heart was shattered – actually, it was shattered way back in February but it seems that every couple of weeks, it gets reshattered – by the same person. But last week was particularly rough.
      I am a very visual person – I’m talking 3D, vibrant colours, intricate detailed thoughts. If Hollywood could get inside my brain…well, that would be an adventure. When I reflected upon all of these comments over the weekend, the picture I had was of my heart, shattered pieces repaired – yes, God did that – is doing that – He is the only One who can put those pieces back together – but I also know that He uses His people to help repair damage. As I looked at my heart, I saw several little bandages. Many of those bandages had the precious words you all spoke written on them. Thank you for that. I just wanted you all to know that – words do matter. More than you’ll ever know.
      One day I might be able to blog about what has been happening – I know I am not the only one in the world who has had to try and cope with a loved one who has a mental illness. I know it isn’t her fault. But 30 years is a long, long time. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share…
      Thank you for helping to bandage my heart. You ladies are so dear to my heart.

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