As a junior high student I was so frustrated when I didn’t have a friend available to spend time with. That’s when my mother would make this statement, “You are really blessed if you have one or two really good friends.” At the time, that is definitely what I didn’t want to hear!
One or two? I wanted way more than one or two; seven for every day of the week seemed a much better fit!
Now as I have my own children, I see the value of teaching them that more is not always better when it comes to friendships; especially friends that are very close to our hearts.
Friendships can be categorized as a target (think bow and arrow).
I draw a target on a piece of paper, making the bull’s eye a heart. Starting with the outer ring, I point to the open space and share. The outside ring is for those you have met and know that they are not a good fit for you. Maybe they act or talk in ways that don’t follow the advice in the Bible or maybe your interests are very different. Do not completely exclude these people from your life. Pray and ask the Lord to open a door for you to share Him with them.
Moving in to the next ring, I instruct, the second ring is for those people who have just met, maybe a new neighbor or a transfer student in a school. While you are getting to know them, keep this new friendship in the “getting to know them” stage. Keep learning more and more about them until you can see if they are a good match for a good friend for you.
The inner ring is for those friends that you have known for awhile; you know you can trust them and they can trust you. These are the types of friends you can go skating, to the mall or play games with. They may or may not know Jesus, but they do have the same values as you. Again, if they do not, pray and ask the Lord for an opportunity for you to share Jesus with them.
Then there are the bull’s eye friendships. This will be one or two of your closest friends. These friends are the ones that you trust with your deepest secrets and you can be trust with theirs. The most important thing is that these friends love and know Jesus like you do. This is important because you may ask for their advice or turn to them for support during a hard time. If they also believe that God’s word is the basis for wisdom, than you will expect that they will encourage you in the right direction and you can encourage them as well.
As my mother said, we are all really blessed if we have one or two “bull’s eye” friends. As a mom to my precious children, I am going to pray and ask the Lord that he will bring about the type of friends into my children’s lives that will support their faith and help them to become more like Christ.