Note: This is part of the Fight Like a Girl Series. Other posts are found under the series tag.
In a few short days, I'll be spending the weekend with a group of ladies. Some, I've hugged in real life. Some, I've spoken to on the phone. Some, I've never interacted with outside a computer screen. They are all dear to me, sisters in Christ with relationships forged through long emails, Facebook threads, blog comments, and mutual prayers. And though they are not a part of my everyday, 3-D life, they are women who "spur [me] on to a mature, vibrant love for Christ." (Hannah Farver, Uncompromising, pg. 205)
My girl recently told me she's received several friend requests on
Facebook from people she doesn't even know. I told her she shouldn't
accept such requests (thankfully, she had already come to that
conclusion on her own.) Am I being hypocritical? I don't think so. As an adult, I understand that not every Facebook friend or friendship is genuine. I have also set boundaries regarding the information I share online. Sadly, many teens (and adults) don't take such precautions.
"...in our culture, we often think of friends as people we spend time with exclusively for amusement - and nothing deeper." (Uncompromising, pg. 208) Social media and text messaging have done little to make us think otherwise. We enter into relationships too lightly and make them intimate too quickly. We are careless with our privacy and our emotions.
As a parent, it's my job to protect my daughter from being reckless in this regard.
"Teenagers need to learn the skill of wisely choosing friends. They need
to understand the powerful influence of friendship upon them...We need
to ask good questions that help the child examine his thoughts, desires,
motives, choices, and behaviors with respect to friendship." (Paul
David Tripp, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, p. 85).
If we are going to motivate our daughters to make good choices concerning friendships, we must first teach them what genuine friendships are. I can't remember how many times I've told my girl that she is to be friendly to everyone, but to be a close friend to a few who share her Christian beliefs. I want her to have Hebrews 3:13 friends, who encourage her, pray for her and hold her accountable. I want her to be that kind of friend as well.
It's not easy. I've said many times that parenting teenage girls isn't for the faint of heart, and I think that is particularly true where friendships are concerned. It is difficult to raise a girl to be different in a world that prizes fitting in. Drama runs rampant. Pressure is great. But, as I keep reminding myself, God is greater.
And so I keep fighting for my girl. Won't you join me and fight for yours?
~Think about your own friendships. Does your girl see you model Hebrews 3:13, or does she see you encourage your friends to sin by gossiping, complaining, scheming, etc?
~Webster’s dictionary defines “quality” as “degree of excellence;
superiority in kind”. Ask your girl how many of her friendships she would define as quality friendships and why.
~Scriptures to read together and discuss: Proverbs 27:6, 9, 17;
2 Corinthians 6:14;
James 4:4; and 1 Cor. 15:33