Friendships are a truly amazing miracle of God. My friendship with Laura is an internet relationship so far. I hope to meet her and her family in person some day. The internet has never seemed quite real to me until just the past few years. I’ve met some amazing women through my blog. Who would have known there were so many women in the world who wear the same make-up, hair clips, & use the same essential oils as I do? Who would have known there are so many women who make their own laundry soap & wear dresses most of the time? Coming from the Oklahoma Panhandle, really, I had no idea! So often I’ve felt like I was practically on a deserted island with my little family. (Minus the nosy, small town neighbors! ‘giggle’)
Finding someone who you can connect with is a blessing at any age. It’s nifty when my children find a friend they enjoy spending time with. (Yes we homeschool and have friends.) My children’s friends aren’t a big priority to me though. That may seem odd. I appreciate my friends so much, why should I not think friendships are important to my children? I have several valid reasons.
I want them to be friends with each other.
I never, ever want them to be peer dependent.
I want to develop a strong friendship with each of them.
Most importantly, I want them to see God as their very best friend for eternity.
“My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” Job 16:20
We’ve seen several generations of peer dependence in the USA. Not pretty. I have to admit to having issues with peer pressure through my adult life. My first baby got the brunt of it and then learned it all too well. She didn’t eat solids as soon as other babies, so I introduced them earlier than I probably should have. She didn’t walk as soon as other babies, so I encouraged her constantly until she did. I felt pressure for her to be ahead of her “class” since we were the only homeschooling family in our county, so I pushed her through the books. I also wore myself out taking her to nearly every activity available to make sure she was “socialized”. I ended up sick and exhausted and with a daughter who would rather talk to anyone else but me.
He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail. Job 17:5
Did it do me any good to try to keep up with my “friends” with our oldest daughter? No. Definitely not. It actually ended in heartache, despair, and a loss of friends for both of us. My poor daughter found herself at 18 years old, not knowing who she was or what God’s purpose for her life was. I’m grateful to be able to report to you that diligence, stubborn determination on my part, and lots of prayer from our whole family got us through without disaster. Our oldest is 22 now, lives the life of a Godly woman, and has recently published her first novel. She is confident, teachable, and is a delight to her family and community.
We have both learned that friends can come and go in our lives, but God and our little family are always here. Be assured I have NOT made the same mistake with our other children. Friends come and go from their lives, just like they do mine. Few stay for a long time. Some are only there when we need them, some are only there when we are needed and some just pop in occasionally and visit like we had never parted. That’s okay. We have an eternity to enjoy our friendships.