Thursday, August 20, 2015

BE HIS/HER FRIEND


Christians not only have God's Word, The Bible, but Father God's examples through Christ to copy as a resource for correct living. In this writing I am interested in communicating - as a parent, it is Biblically based to be a friend to your children.

I have seen the idea put forth that parents can be everything else to their children except friends. I do not know where this came from - the thoughts of men (psychology) or the influence of the devil. Either way, this idea that friendship cannot and should not be attained or held with our children is not from God.

I only need one Scripture to dispell this notion, but I have three - one in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament. Proverbs 18:24 is the Old Testament verse and it says, "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." The original Hebrew word for "friend" here is ahab or aheb, meaning to have affection sexually or otherwise. So, this friend could be a wife, parent or God - but it is definitely someone "that clings/sticks closer than a brother".  The wife as a friend fulfills the sexual affection potential of the definition. The parent fulfills the affection as friend in that they usually know more about us than our siblings. However, many teachers use this verse to describe "the friend" as God who is personal with us, knows everything about us and fills the role of a parent - Father God. I desire my fellow brothers/sisters in Christ to keep this image of God as the "friend who sticks closer than a brother" and use it as basis for being a close friend to your own children.

Moving to the New Testament, John 15:15 states - "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." Because Christ said, "I no longer call you servants", it makes me ponder the time-frame He called us thus. Jesus goes on to say, "I have called you friends" and it makes me wonder when He started calling us that. Whenever the switch was -- God's Word now declares us His friends and His actions, as our example, prove His Word - "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:13) I know so many parents who would be willing to lay their life down for their children. How much more your children as your friends.

Once again, I ask my fellow Christians who are parents to consider putting away any such notion of not being a friend to your children and embrace this role that Father God spoke about and exemplified through Christ Jesus our Lord - Be His/Her Friend.