A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17. Wait, did that say “all times”??!? What if someone was trying to harm your friend? What if your friend was just a poor shepherd? What if your parents liked your friend more than you? The story of David and Jonathan contains examples of extreme loyalty. We were able to explore some elements of friendship through music, art, cooking, computers and science this month in our 1-5th grade Sunday School classes.
If dinner table conversation at your house is anything like mine, you realize that friendship issues come up daily for kids. The list of who plays with whom and who hurt a friends feelings changes so quickly that I can barely keep up! Elementary and Tween “drama” provide us lots of opportunities to talk to our girls about the type of friend we want them to be. We encourage them to be inclusive, stand up for others when necessary and to be kind. Our prayer is that this reinforcement gives them strength to make good choices in tough situations.
I encourage you to read the story of David and Jonathan, found in 1 Samuel, 18, at home together. Think about how important (or not) the qualities of loyalty, appearance, honesty, having fun, good grades, where you live, race and cultural background, kindness, religion and popularity are to you. Discussing friendship often helps kids get through those sticky situations at school. Take time to pray together about friendship, too. Here are a few to get you started:
Help me, O God, to be a good true friend. Help me to be loyal and not let my friends down.
Dear God, Help me to only speak good about my friends and not gossip about them.
Father in Heaven, where my friends are struggling, show them Your love and give them Your courage.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please help me to listen to my friends and treat them with respect.