Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Show Me Your Friends

Any one of my kids, and any of the kids in our youth group at church, are able to complete this sentence when my husband says the first part:  "Show me your friends--".

"and I'll show you your future."

Sounds like a blanket assessment, doesn't it?  All of the young people in our lives, both past and present, have tried every which way from sideways to prove that statement false.  Here's the problem:  they can't.  If you hang around with people long enough to call them FRIENDS, their behavior becomes the norm for the group and for the individual within the group.

My wise husband offered these examples:  if all the people in your group of friends uses four-letter words, using four-letter words becomes the norm.  No one thinks anything of it because everybody does it.  If all the people in your group of friends inject heroin into their veins, shooting up drugs becomes the norm.  Likewise, if all of your friends commit to purity, it is the norm to stay pure.  And if the norm in your group of friends is to abstain from alcohol,  you will probably not all get together and tie one on.

There are certainly good reasons for parents to keep a watchful eye on their kids' friends.  Most parents are not passing judgment on the families of the children their kids are drawn into relationship with.  It is simply wise to know where your dearest loves are going, who they will be spending time with, the conditions at the home where they will be sleeping over, and the adults who will be supervising them.

Believing this way does not make me one bit popular with my kids or their friends, and sometimes I question our need to know important answers before our kids leave for a friend's house, but our caution has not cost our children.  And we know several sets of parents whose lack of it has cost their children dearly.      

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