During his earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, preached to thousands, healed the sick, and spent time in prayer. Jesus also invested His time in teaching and training His twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-16). He hand-picked these guys. They would be the men who would carry His message of good news to the world. He wanted them to know His heart, to feel His love for others, and to know His Father. Jesus poured His life into these men. He taught them how to pray, heal the sick, and preach the good news. For three years they did life together. They watched him feed 5000, made blind eyes see, and walked on water. However, it was the personal time Jesus spent with these twelve men that made all the difference.
It was through their impactful time with Jesus that the disciples became men of God who took the message of grace, love, and forgiveness to a world in need. Through their example we see our challenge is to not only be a disciple but to go and make disciples and to do life in a community with other believers. As parents, our kids need to see us living in a community with other believers. Strong friendships not only help us through the good days of parenting they help when times are tough. Other than the fact that Jesus himself modeled strong friendships, here are three reasons why parents need strong friendships.
1. You want your kids to have strong friendships.
All parents wish for their kids to have great friendships. I know that we pray for our kid’s friends almost daily. We desire for our kids to make the kind of friends that build them up instead of tearing them down. If we want them to have strong friendships, we must set the example for them. When our kids see us with our friends, they have a chance to see what healthy friendship is and what it is not. Embrace the opportunity to give your kids an example of what it means to have a strong friendship.
2. We need to know that we are not alone.
Sometimes as parents, we feel like we are the only ones going through whatever it is that we are going through. It can feel very isolating and if we are not careful, we can get stuck in this pattern of isolation. Strong friendships continually remind us that we are not alone. Your friends may not be going through the same things you are going through with your kids, but it is important to have someone in your corner to help you process and pray. On the other hand, many times when we are facing things with our kids our friends will say, “me too.” Knowing that we are not alone gives us more confidence to face anything put before us.
3. Strong friendships help with personal growth.
Having a good circle of friends that genuinely cares for and supports you will naturally push you to growth. Growth personally, spiritually, and mentally. A strong friend will encourage you on your best day and not let you settle for less on your worst day. Scripture tells us that “iron sharpens iron,” and that we should be making each other better. Strong friendships will push you to see things in yourself that sometimes you don’t know are there. Find these kind of friends and hold on to them.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you think about strong friendships.
If you asked your kids to name your three best friends, who would they list out?
Do you have a group of friends you are committed to? Why or why not?
Write out a time when a friend came along side you to bear your burdens.
Do you struggle with friendships? If so, what are some reasons why?