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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.