Friendships take work, just like tending to everything else that's alive and breathing! You can't forget to water a plant or soon you'll find a pot full of dried up twigs! A new puppy has to be fed and walked and played with or you will have a disobedient monster on your hands! Being a good friend takes effort and can be a struggle for your daughter in the face of peer pressure and mean girls. But sometimes just breaking it down into how to care for a relationship goes a long way in helping her to approach friendship with confidence. Here are a few ingredients required for the care of every good friendship:
Can you imagine trying to convince someone you liked them if you never actually made time for them? Wouldn't really work. Friendships thrive on time spent together. Researchers tell us that people who spend time with friends experience more happiness than people who are lonely. That's no big surprise! And happiness is good for our health. Therefore… spending time with friends is good for us! Proverbs 17:22 actually says, "A cheerful heart is a good medicine." Encourage and help your daughter make time for her friends.
Proverbs 27:9 reads: "The heartfelt counsel of a friend is a sweet perfume." And so it is! One unique thing about Jesus and his friendships is that He did all the influencing. He was a sweet perfume in his group of disciples. Encourage your daughter to be a positive influencer too.
While we pray our daughters will surround themselves with quality Christian friends, the truth is they will likely find a few who don't know Jesus. Your daughter has the opportunity to share truth with them! Help her with those relationships and keep a close eye on them. Teach her to write encouraging notes with Bible verses and slip them into her friend's locker or invite them to church or youth group. Open your home to these friends and invite them to share a meal with your family.
All that said, there may be some girls who are not open to receiving truth - these girls aren't going to make quality friends just yet. They may become bad influences on your daughter. It's OK to put some friendships on the back burner or out to pasture until a time when you both feel your daughter can be the one who does the influencing.
Does your daughter feel uncomfortable when a friend is going through a hard time? Especially if she's younger she may become distant and timid around friends who are hurting. Encourage her to "commiserate" with that friend. When a friend is hurting, the best thing for your daughter to do is to stay by their side and simply hurt with her. Your daughter may feel the pressure to say something like "It's going to be ok," or "I know things will get better." But the most helpful response is to do what Jesus did. He wept. When he lost his friend Lazarus, He and the others who loved Lazarus mourned together. They just cried.
Does your daughter hear you pray for your friends? With your friends? Granted, praying out loud isn't the most comfortable thing in the world for many people, but prayer is a sign of authentic friendship. Set the example, then encourage your daughter to pray for her friendships. If she doesn't know what to pray, tell her to ask that God help her be a good friend. She can pray that God bless her friend's family and that her friend would know she's loved by God!
Encourage your daughter to love her friends in these four specific areas - then watch her become the "real deal" when it comes to friendship! This is how a true friend loves. After all, there's only one true motivation for friendship, and that is love.
If you want resources to teach your daughter the importance of having wise friends check out the True Girl Subscription! This month we are focusing on the topic of peer pressure in The Pajama Party Box, which gives moms conversation tools to talk about friendship and it's impact!
Here's a peek at what's inside The Pajama Party Box shipping now!
The Pajama Party Box includes:
- 60 days of daily devos
- a mom+daughter conversation guide to talk about peer pressure
- 8 scripture memory cards
- a coloring meditation page
- The True Girl Pajama Party book by Dannah Gresh
- A panda eye mask
- Sixes—a crazy game with giant dice
- Candy necklace making kit
- A dance party button
- A sticker
- And, this month's charm bracelet addition
- (If you're a new subscriber, it will also include a bracelet!)
Learn more about the True Girl subscription here.
The True Girl subscription is your toolbox to teach her to love her Bible! Every month your inbox can be filled with a coaching video on important topics and tools to draw your daughter into the Word. And our ultimate option includes a box delivered right to your door every sixty days! We select age-appropriate, Christ-centered themes for each box and fill them with ALL-NEW items that build the habits of spiritual discipline. Here’s what one mom is saying:
"The daily devo book is so easy to use, and gets my daughter curious and more excited about God’s Word. It’s getting me in the Word, too!"