The Friend Zone
Encouraging Positive Friendships and Discouraging Negative Ones
By Dori Van Grouw, High School Learning Resource Center
We can all agree we need friends. Friends who: accept us as we are, look out for our best interests, and stick with us even when times are tough. However, these kinds of friends are not always so easy to find. At Central Valley Christian, we probably have students in need of friendship on all three campuses—so much so that they will take any friend they can get—a good influence or a bad one.
Human beings were created to be social creatures. In the beginning of creation, God saw that it was important for man to have a helpmate. And Adam and Eve were happy until sin entered the world. Even though we may have close friends, and are happy, friendships can also cause us grief and disappointment, because of the presence of sin in the world.
So, what exactly does being a positive friend entail? What does the Bible have to say about friends? The Bible gives us a number of examples in the Old and New Testament of good friendship. God created us to be relational—and that has always been the case. Take David and Jonathan. David and Jonathan’s relationship was a friendship that was closer than that of a brother. Jonathan’s loyalty to David was so strong that he put David’s needs before his own ambitions. Another great example is Naomi and Ruth. Here again we see that Naomi put Ruth’s needs ahead of her own. Additionally, in the New Testament, many of Paul’s letters begin and end with gratitude and tribute to his friends.
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Friendships can have negative aspects as well. It’s important to be careful of friendships that can lead to sin. The Bible warns of friendships that can be destroyed because of gossip and grudges, friendships that lead us away from our faith, and friends that intentionally give bad advice. Specifically, the book of Proverbs contains warnings about friends and how we should choose them (Proverbs 12:23, 13:20, 22:24-25, and many more). In Corinthians, Paul warns us, “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Even though some of these negative relationships can be enticing, we should not choose them.
Challenge yourself (and encourage your children) to be a friend that causes others to be a better person. Encourage those we love to seek a better walk with Christ. Our choice as Christians should be to follow a path of righteousness, which is our ultimate goal.
Contact us to today to find out how your child could benefit from meaningful friendships and education rooted in Christ.
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