My Friends Matter

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Life, Parenting | 2 Comments
My Friends Matter

If you are the parent of a teenager, you know how much friends matter in the life of your child. While it is certainly true at an earlier age, the importance takes on even greater implications when your child is no longer under your direct supervision for social and extracurricular events, not to mention car rides. I can’t count the hours I have spent praying for my children’s friends, but what about MY friends?

So many of us grown ups have friends, but barely make time on a consistent basis to invest in the relationships. Understandably, we often must prioritize our children and our family’s needs not leaving much time for ourselves. But I am here to tell you that your friends matter more than you may realize. Yes, I need friends to encourage me as I navigate parenting through the toddler, elementary, and teen years.  Yes, I need a place to vent and laugh. And yes, I will need friends when we have an empty nest. What I did not realize is how much I need my friends to not just love me, but also to love my kids.

When Mark was 13 and Annika was 12, we held a Christian style Bar Mitzvah for each of them. At Mark’s dinner, our family invited three of Chris’s friends to come and speak into Mark’s life. Our family, grandfathers, and these three men each spoke to Mark and challenged him as he entered manhood. We did the same for Annika. Each night was special in the life of our family, but honestly, we did not even begin to realize the value of those two nights until much later.

Our goal was to find adults that we loved and respected to put before our children as another source of wisdom and encouragement when they needed it on their journey. Yes, we self-selected who we felt would echo our values. Just picking your friends from Bunco may not be the wisest idea. You want someone that will speak hard truths in a wise way. We also were careful to select people that our children already had a positive impression of…someone with the personality that they enjoyed and could envision spending time with one day.

We asked these friends to be intentional to engage with our children. Not a program, but to stay connected to them. In just the three short years, we have already seen where our friends have loved us the most by being a voice of love and truth to our teens. When the words of mom and dad become just a monotonous hum, it might be time to call on a friend to share from their perspective. Don’t be too busy for developing godly friends. You will wish you had them one day. I never could have guessed how much comfort they would provide me by being a safe place to seek wise counsel to my own flesh and blood.


2 Comments

  1. Kathy Logan
    February 18, 2014

    Karin, this is so true about the need for friendship as adults. I’m 65 now and do not have an intimate circle of friends. Lots of acquaintances, but only 1 person I feel I can call on whenever or for whatever reason, who will pray with me and for me, without judging and who will give wise counsel when I have a struggle with something or someone, and I am blessed to have her in my life. But she is 10 years older and starting to slow down-as am I! When I was younger I had 5 or 6 people I could call true friends. (The kind of friends who, without being asked, would carry your bed and lower you through the roof to have Jesus heal you!) At my age and being single, you find that many of your old friends are just unavailable, have moved or even died. Yikes, what a thought! I struggle with loneliness a lot. I’m active in my church, have a home business, go to Bible Study, have a ladies group from my church who meet at my house every Friday and have Jesus as my Lord, but as I’ve heard others say, “sometimes you just need somebody with skin on.” Wise words, my dear. Cherish your friends, don’t let them just slip away. My prayer is that God will continue to keep someone in each of our lives whom we can call “friend”.

    Reply
    • karinconlee
      February 18, 2014

      Thank you for adding your perspective. Makes me sad and wish I lived closer, but also is an important perspective that in the midst of busyness is often overlooked. There are so many things we take for granted. Thanks for your input.

      Reply

Leave a Reply