Tonight in our couples small group we were talking through the idea of Providential Relationships. The study that we are participating in says that God uses relationships to grow our faith and teaches through Proverbs 13:20. It’s very interesting and something that I know is true in my life and in my faith and something that I’ve thought about because of Cannon.
But can you legitimately pick your child’s friends?
But that’s the thing about “providential” relationships. You can’t manipulate them. However, the study suggested creating opportunities to possibly experience one of these relationships i.e. picking a small group.
So here are some suggestions on helping to “create environments” where your child picks the right friends.
1. Small Group
Small Group is such an important part of the life of a believer. You must have a group of people trying to do life together and trying to do it for and after Jesus. But you don’t have to just get your kid placed in a group, you can make sure that they are in a group that you want them to be in.
- Are the friends in their group from a strong family?
- Do they seem to desire a strong relationship with God?
- Are their reputations strong?
So make sure that your child is connected in a group.
2. Model good friendships
Don’t expect your kids to know how to hang out with the right people if you don’t show them how. Are you in a small group? Do they know the other adults in your small group? Do you show them how to handle conflict and disagreements?
Ultimately our kids learn what we show them. Make sure that if you want your kids to hang out with wise people that make good decisions that they are learning from your example.
3. Gospel Centered Relationships
Are you living out the Gospel in your relationships? Is there someone that your children know that you are trying to point to Christ?
In our small group we talked about making the routine, become memorable. Taking everyday normal things (eating dinner) and making them about the Gospel. So here were a few ideas of how we can show our children how to live out the gospel everyday in the context of relationships.
- Adopt a local coffe shop or restaurant. Get to know everyone there and love on them.
- Eat dinner with others. Older people and Younger people love to eat, use the dinner table to model relationships with the Gospel as center.
- Get outside. Go in your front yard to play and meet people in your neighborhood.
- Host a small group in your home. Best way to figure out how your kids are doing friend wise is to bring their friends into your home.
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