Have you ever wondered if a person you have met is a good friend? I know I have! Sometimes it’s hard to know whether a person will be a good influence on your character or not, and whether they will encourage you in the Lord.
Teens need friends. Everybody does, but especially, teens. Finding a right one is hard. Sometimes we’re tempted to treat our friends better than our siblings. In this post, I’m going to talk about being a good friend, having a good friend, and treating our siblings like our very best friends.
My mom has always said that a sibling relationship is much more important than a friend relationship. Why? Who will be there for you the rest of your life? Who will be there to encourage you when you’re getting married? Who will be there to help and encourage you in the Lord? Your sibling. 🙂 A friend relationship is important, but a sibling relationship is valued over everything! Every teen struggles with treating their friends better than, sometimes, their sibling. Everyone does! Including me. 🙂 But God gave us our siblings so that we can be an encouragement to each other, and if there’s ever a point in a friendship that a friend is somehow blocking that special sibling relationship, maybe that person isn’t best for you.
My parents both were blessed in being raised in a Christian home. My dad only had one sister, but my mom had 5 siblings. I enjoy hearing about their struggles (and successes!) in relationships so they can help me be a better friend and sister.
When my sister Johanna came home from China, she was 14 and I was 9. I had been the oldest for 9 years, and was perfectly fine with out of birth order adoption. (Well, I was fine with it in the beginning when she didn’t speak English LOL!) But I had to work very hard about not being jealous if she did something that I just didn’t get to do yet. Like makeup, sitting up front in the car, that kind of stuff. Johanna struggled with feeling jealous of me and my relationship with my parents (since she was the new one to the family). She worried that my parents loved ME more than they loved her. So things weren’t always good between us. We both struggled with jealousy at first, and we sometimes still do! (We like to talk to each other and our mom if we’re starting to feel those jealous feelings again.) Once we realized that we both are special and get to do different stuff, and we’re both equally important in the family, that’s when our special relationship began. And Johanna and I are now BEST FRIENDS! We had to decide that we were going to chose to be happy in what someone else had. Even if we couldn’t do it or didn’t have it. 🙂
This is the same for a friend relationship as well. When you see someone else who has something that maybe isn’t bad, but you can’t have it, or you can’t do it, you have to make that decision to be happy for them and not get jealous.
So while it’s important for teens to have friends, remember that your very best friends should be your siblings. Whether you’re in a bigger church, or a smaller one, you can usually find someone who you hit it off with, and who really cares about you and having a great relationship. A friend who always desires to be a blessing to you rather than what they can get out of you.
Here are five things to consider when looking for a true friend (and remember, WE should be working on being this kind of friend as well!):
1. They are unselfish in their words and actions.
2. They always seek to be a blessing to others, rather than a burden.
3. They respect their parents and other adults. (Both in front of others AND in private.)
4. They encourage you to live for the Lord and make good choices. (They’re not secretly encouraging you to sin.)
5. They are always seeking to be a servant.
Teens, if you are seeking a friend, ALWAYS remember this, “The kind of friend you want, ALWAYS seek to be.”
I’d love to talk to teens in the comments below about their struggle for friends or sibling relationships! 🙂
By Ellie Rose, 13 years old