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Jan 25, 2013

Friends - Hard to Live without Them

Becky Cooke

Last weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to celebrate the marriage of a friend’s son with many of our friends from former days. Then when we returned home, we were invited to dinner with another set of friends. Afterwards, in awe I thanked the Lord for the people He brings into my life to enrich it beyond measure. He reminded me again that without the body of Christ we can fall into despair, even over minor things.

Jesus knows the value of friendship to us since we are frail beings. Proverbs 17:17 says that friends love at all times; Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that a friend sticks closer than a brother. Even more so, Jesus calls us His friends (John 15:15) – amazing!

There were times during my homeschooling days when it was difficult to maintain friendships and keep up with a circle of friends. In different seasons the Lord brought friends different ways. When the children were young, my children and I would meet moms and their children at the park or maybe for lunch at a place that had a playground. In the middle school and junior high years, many of my friends were associated with the activities of my children. Because of the busy days of high school, I often resorted to telephone friends. Always, the Lord knew my needs and provided special people to encourage and grow me in so many ways.

My children also needed friends, even as yours do. Sometimes we were in situations where there wasn’t an abundance of children to befriend, but we found that quantity wasn’t always as satisfying as one good buddy. When we moved from Texas to Virginia (and before email), the children learned the art of letter writing to keep in touch with best friends. Soon, though, they cultivated new friends and their circle expanded.

I found that it was important to talk together about choosing friends wisely. We studied what the Scriptures said, discussed our family’s preferences, and provided venues where they could meet other children/teens.

Do your teens need friends? Some good places to begin looking are at church, in your neighborhood, through volunteer or job shadowing opportunities, homeschool support group classes or activities, in pursuing areas of interest, or through corresponding with a missionary teen. Remember, homeschoolers are not limited to being friends with just their peers. Rather, they can establish a friendship with a retired person who has words of wisdom or a professional in a field your teen is considering. Ask the Lord to bring just the right person at the right time into your teen’s life. He is faithful all the time. On the high school website we have some articles that will give you additional ideas and thoughts to consider.

-Becky

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