My older daughter's birthday was June 1. We were out of town on her birthday, and she and her friends had conflicting schedules for most of June. So, last night, we finally had her birthday party -- a sleepover. Since 6 last night, my house has been full of giggly 12-year-old girls.
As I watched these girls interact, I realized that for all the struggles my daughter has had with relationships this year, God has blessed her with these friends. The four girls who showed up at my house last night are girls who have my daughter's back. They're girls who appreciate her for who she is. They're girls who love to laugh and who love God. And I can't ask for more than that in friends for my daughter.
My daughter chose well when she picked these friends. God chose well when he put these girls together. You can see in their eyes that they enjoy each other's company. You can hear in their laughter that they love to have fun. And because these girls sit at my table during the middle schools service at church, I can see that their hearts are turned toward God.
When our kids are choosing friends, the qualities these girls have are the ones we want our kids to look for. Whether it's one really close friend or a small group of friends, we want our kids to choose friends wisely. We want them to look for other kids who are seeking to follow God. We want them to choose friends who will stand back-to-back against the enemy. We want them to find friends who will tell them the truth in love.
We want our kids to find friends who live out the words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Friends who love each other, help each other and seek God together will help our kids through the tough times. They will be there for our kids. They will help keep our kids on the right path.
Start early to help your kids cultivate friendships with people who can do these things. Encourage your kids to think hard about the friends they choose.
Though I'm exhausted this morning from a 12-year-old sleepover, I'm also grateful that my daughter has been blessed with these girls in her life. I pray that your kids will be just as blessed in their own friendships.