I get so frustrated sometimes at the very different standard of expectations and reactions for the behavior of adults and children. Read More
There is great power in human touch.
Babies in orphanages die without it.
Marriages fail when there isn’t enough of it.
And all children crave it desperately.
A hug. A quick cuddle before bed. A pat on the head that says, “You’re mine.” A touch to the back that says, “You can do it!” A single fingertip, gently caressing a little cheek. An Eskimo kiss. A tickle fight. Arms to hold a grieving heart. A hand-in-hand walk that shows you belong together. Read More
Have you ever picked up a parenting book, peered at the table of contents, then flipped to the consequences part first? I know I have! Why do we turn to those chapters first?
Because we’re all desperate for that parenting “quick fix”. Read More
It’s always amazed me that if a woman wants to be a doctor, a teacher, a musician, or any other career, many long, dedicated years of schooling plus an internship are usually required. It is necessary that one have credentials before beginning their full-time career. And yet, one of the most important jobs in the whole world, is the responsibility of raising the next generation—and there is no required, or hardly even available education for new parents. In America, it seems as if motherhood especially is something you do after you’ve finished doing everything you wanted to do for yourself FIRST. Read More
The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is put on my glasses. Why? Because I’m near-sighted, and without my glasses, my world is cloudy and unclear, and I would be stumbling my way through the day. I once thought a giant spider in my shower was a blob of hair because I wasn’t wearing my glasses! Thankfully, I leaned in for a closer look and then exited the shower quite…abruptly. 🙂
When we’re seeking to parent our children with the same grace God has bountifully bestowed upon our lives, it helps to view our children through His eyes. To put on His glasses and open our eyes to the clarity of His viewpoint.
He says children are a blessing. Read More
Most of us would never tell our children, “Do as I SAY, not as I DO.”
I mean, we wouldn’t take a swig of whiskey while telling our teens, “You should never, ever drink.”
And it would be insanely laughable to teach our children to have good manners at the table while picking our own nose and wiping it on the wall. (Ewww)
Right? Are you with me so far?
Good. Stay with me for just a minute, because I’m going somewhere with this.
Even with the very best intentions, I sometimes find myself being a hypocrite with my children. Oh, I wouldn’t drink while telling them not to, and I’m pretty sure I’m not wiping my boogers on the wall–but if I’m really honest, there are other ways I see hypocrisy in my parenting. I continually have to guard myself against teaching my children one thing while SHOWING them another.
Now, maybe it’s just me,and you have this parenting thing all mastered. 🙂 Or maybe you will see your reflection in some of these areas, and join me in asking God to change us to be more like Him.
Here’s three ways parents can be hypocrites with their children:
We expect perfection while living imperfect lives.
Have you ever gotten angry at your child because they were being, um, an imperfect child? Come on, now, be honest. 🙂 You fussed at your husband on the way to church and then got embarrassed at your 3 year old for sticking out his tongue at his brother during the service. Or you put off your quiet time because the morning was crazy, but got angry at your 6 year old because he didn’t want to do his homework. The issue is, of course, that we adults are a tad bit “wiser” when it comes to our imperfections. And we have enough pride to hide most of them from others. Children (young children especially!), on the other hand, don’t act to impress. They are openly imperfect. 🙂 Now I’m not suggesting that we throw up our hands and expect nothing from our children, but I am pointing out that it is completely hypocritical for adults to put HIGHER standards of behavior on tiny little children than they’re even putting on themselves. We must guard against setting an unattainable standard of perfection in our home. An atmosphere of growth and grace, with open mistakes and just as open apologies and forgiveness is the key here.
We expect respect from our children while not giving them respect.
For some reason, more respect is given to our spouses, our best friends, our church community, and even TOTAL STRANGERS than is often given to children. There’s like this unwritten code among adults that it’s acceptable to speak unkindly of or to our children or teens.”Wow. You have alot of children. You don’t want MORE, do you?” or “Ugh. He’s so naughty.” or “Wait until they’re teenagers!” or “You’re such a brat!” or “Is she a GOOD baby?” (as if only silent babies who sleep on command are GOOD?) or “Sit down and shut up!” or “How many times do I have to tell you to OBEY?”
Parents get on social media and embarrass, shame, ridicule, and humiliate their OWN children. An act of violence occurs and someone is sure to point out, “A good beating when he was a kid would have fixed that!” It’s become commonplace to talk openly about how hard/difficult/stubborn/challenging/annoying/insert-your-child’s behavior-here children are, and to AGREE with other moms who need “some wine before they go crazy” or some “time away from my kids”.
.Now, some of you will disagree with me here, and say that it’s different when we’re complaining about our children than when we’re complaining about other people. And I would ask you this–would it be acceptable to talk to or about my husband this way? Would it be okay for me to point out his flaws when I’m drinking coffee with my friends? Should I get on social media and talk about how excited I am for a BREAK from this man because he’s pushing my buttons? Is gossip EVER acceptable, respectful, or relationship-building? No.
We cannot teach and require respect from our children if we’re not modeling that same respect. Our children need to know we adore them, and that even on their very worst days, we’v got their back.
If we can’t say something kind or uplifting about our children, it’s best to say nothing at all.
We teach gentleness but model harshness.
One of the very first behaviors we must teach toddlers is “gentle hands” or “gentle touch”, as they’re prone to hitting, pushing, or grabbing from other people. Older children need reminders to be kind and gentle with both animals and people.
This is another area where we must guard against hypocrisy, because we must be gentle with our children or all the “be gentle with others” teaching means nothing. If we are harsh in our tone of voice when speaking with our children, or rough with them when they misbehave, how can we expect them to respond gently to others?
These are three areas that I am continually working on. I want gentleness to be my natural response to my children. I want my words to sweetly guide and nurture them. I want to BE what I’m telling THEM to be!
Our children are amazing mirrors for us as parents. As my children have become teenagers, I’ve walked into a room many times and thought to myself, “I don’t like the way so-and-so is speaking……Ouch. They sound exactly like me.” I’ve changed many things about my parenting as my older children have started mimicking me. 🙂
I’m sure there are more than just these three areas that we parents can be hypocritical with our children, but as I strive to share my heart for my children and my own personal struggles with you, these three areas came to my mind.
Blessings to you, dear friends, as you seek to parent like Jesus!
In the last post we talked about Sibling and Friend Relationships. But in this post, I am going to talk about teens and parent relationships, and how it’s extremely important to have a strong relationship with your parents.
Have you ever thought to yourself when your mom or dad is disciplining one of your siblings, “I would NOT do this, this way, or I wouldn’t be that soft on him if I WERE THE MOM!” Now, I would say that we teens with siblings have thought that way MORE than once! Wouldn’t you? Maybe you wouldn’t have the courage to say that out loud to your parents, but maybe you think that of your mom or dad sometimes. 🙂
Or maybe you struggle when your parents correct you or point out something they want you to work on. I sometimes struggle with that, too. Nobody likes to be wrong or have their faults pointed out to them.
When you’re in your teen years, you start to kind of be judgmental to what your parents do, regarding discipline, or how they chose to parent your siblings, or other decisions they make. Do you know why? It’s because your brain is changing from a kid who loved to run around and play on a swing set to an adult who wants to be independent and make your own choices, . Your brain is maturing into an adult brain, rather than a playful child’s brain. And it’s hard! But you have to realize that your parents know best. And how many years have they been parenting and having their own family? And how many years have you been doing it? 🙂 If you do the math, I’m pretty sure that they’ve been doing this longer. LOL. For now, they have more lifetime experiences. And your turn will come! You’ll be able to one day say to your kids, “Hey look, I was a teenager and I know what it’s like to think you’re an adult. You’re NOT an adult yet, one day you will be. And one day you’ll be able to make those decisions for your family.”
Hey teens, your parents really do know and want what’s best for you, and they’re not trying to make you as miserable as possible! They love you and adore you and want to see you succeed! They’ve been “you” before, and they understand that it’s hard sometimes, but always try to be respectful to them.
It is so important to work on a great bond between you and your parents. A relationship that you’re comfortable sharing anything with them, even your deepest darkest secrets. And my parents have always said, that if maybe I don’t agree with something that they’re doing as a parent, come and talk to them. Just make sure it’s privately! Sometimes I would say how I felt out loud around my siblings, and my mom would say, “You’re welcome to tell me how you feel about this or that privately and respectfully, but not around the kids.”
Your parents want to be on the same page as you are. Just remember that you’re a TEAM. You’re in this stage of life together!
The other thing I want to mention is… Respect. In the world today, kids are so disrespectful to their parents. I’ve been around teens who talk badly or flippantly about their parents behind their back. This is gossip! Maybe you say, “Well, my parents just don’t listen to me when I try to share my feelings with them.” Have you tried it respectfully? I’ve found that our parents are more likely to listen, if we come to them with respect. “Mom and Dad, I really don’t understand why you do this, do you mind helping me understand why?” Now they may say “No, you don’t need to understand why we do this.”, then just say “ok” and obey. 🙂
It’s not easy, but it honors our parents and the Lord.
Teens, let’s try to show respect to our parents in our words, actions, and thoughts. Our world needs a generation of teens who are willing to obey their parents and show respect. Plus, I bet it will make your parents happy, and I KNOW it will make God happy.
I would love to talk to other teens about their struggle with Parent Relationships in the comments below!
Ellie Rose, 13 years old
Every parent has felt it.
That feeling of frustration or irritation that comes when your child delays, disobeys, drags their feet, repeatedly forgets instructions, embarrasses you in public, acts silly when you’re needing cooperation, insert-your-child’s-annoyance-here.
What do you do when you’re FRUSTRATED with your child’s behavior?
Yell and say things you don’t really mean? Sigh, then rant about how frustrated you are? Lecture them repeatedly? Ignore it and hope it will go away? Threaten to take away Santa Claus for this year? (Yes, I have truly heard parents threaten this one!)
None of these are the best choice, although every parent is tempted to react in one of these ways when they’re frustrated.
Especially in the heat of the moment, (like when you’re trying to get 8 children out the door for church, or you’re parenting in front of a crowd of people), it can be difficult to know what to do when you feel those feelings of frustration rising. 🙂
My husband and I have determined that there are Two Choices for us when we’re frustrated. These are actually very simple, but remembering them during stressful times can be the biggest challenge! Because I need to be reminded often, I wanted to share this with you today, in hopes that it will encourage you as well.
Two Choices for the Frustrated Parent:
1. Lower your expectations.
I bet you didn’t think I was going to say that one, did you? 🙂 I know. I know. Usually I’m advocating for more training. (Don’t worry, we’ll cover that in point two!)
NOBODY thrives in an atmosphere of frustration or disapproval. You don’t like it, and neither does your spouse, but as adults, you have the freedom to speak clearly your needs to each other.
Your children, on the other hand, will absolutely wilt under a constant atmosphere of frustration.
Children crave and need parental approval for their growth. If you have a child who repetitively disobeys and seems to show no remorse for their disobedience, consider whether they have met with so much frustration that they have given up trying to please you.
If you’re going through your day continually frustrated or irritated with your children, the FIRST thing you might need to do is lower your expectations so your children can meet with your approval more easily.
What does this look like in real life? I’ll give a situation from our family to help illustrate this point:
- I will openly admit that I like to keep a neat home, with minimal clutter and everything in its place. Unfortunately, we have ten people living in a 359 sq. ft. travel trailer. 🙂 After moving into the trailer, I began getting really frustrated over the SHOES. Oh.my.goodness. I downsized continually, I organized the shoes into totes, I repeatedly taught my little ones to put their shoes away before entering the trailer…..BUT. Ten people, ya’ll. Even with only 2 or 3 pairs of shoes per person—it’s still TOO MANY SHOES. 🙂 No matter how hard we tried, someone would forget and take their shoes off in the house, or it would be late and too dark to put the shoes away, OR it would be raining and everyone would have to bring their shoes inside. Every single day, I was tripping over shoes, stepping over shoes, kicking shoes out the front door, nagging children about shoes, mumbling to myself about shoes, threatening to ban all shoes from the Bergey family forever. You get my point. The shoes were ruining my life, and I in turn was taking out my frustration on the people I love the most! 🙂 The truth was, I needed to lower my expectations for this one. We have alot of people in a small space (and sadly, we all need shoes!). I started expecting to see shoes all day long and stopped feeling so frustrated.
2. Increase your training.
If you see a dog who pees indoors, barks all day, runs away every time he gets out the door, jumps on everyone he meets, doesn’t come when called, scratches up the furniture, and chews on all the socks, do you blame the DOG or the OWNER?
The owner. He needs to train his dog in obedience!
In the same way, if you’re frustrated with your child, it is not the child’s fault.
It is YOUR fault for not training better.
Take the time to write down the things your children do that frustrate you the most, share them with your spouse, evaluate what you should lower your expectations on, then get busy training for the rest!
Here’s another personal illustration:
- We travel full-time, so some days, we’re out-and-about in public more than most families. That can equate to getting everyone unbuckled and out of the van frequently. I have to unbuckle the baby and gather the diaper bag, so my children are often exiting the vehicle alone. The youngest 5 inevitably begin to wander, usually exploring the nearby landscaping. My boys would touch the trees or climb on the rocks, or even start a game of tag! Now, this mama knows that they may have been sitting for a long time and have extra wiggles :), but not only is it frustrating to gather them all back together, it is also very dangerous in some parking lots to have little ones wandering. After multiple lectures over the dangers of parking lots AND the needed respect for company’s landscaping, we were still having issues. (It was additionally challenging for us, because we did understand why they were so quick to want to play.:) ) I began dreading getting everyone out of the van, and could feel my stress meter rising every time we had to get out! This is when we decided to increase the training and established the “white line rule”. Whenever my husband calls “white line!”, all the children must plant their feet on the white parking line right outside the van. They may move on the line but may not get off of it. We got in and out of the van OVER and OVER again, practicing and encouraging and teaching. This now works beautifully to keep our little ones safe and respectfully off the landscaping. 🙂
In this situation, increasing the training reduced my frustration.
Remember, if you’re feeling FRUSTRATED at your child, try one of these options: Lower your expectations until they can freely meet your approval, OR increase your training until they succeed with the appropriate behavior.
Now, what about you? What frustrates you and what are you doing about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, either in the comments below OR on the Perspectives in Parenting Facebook Page! Blessings to you on YOUR parenting journey!
I received a facebook message with a question recently that got me thinking about thankfulness in our children. I’ll paste the question here:
So, I had a long day and stopped and got a milkshake for myself on the way home. My son cried because I didn’t get him anything. He’s talked about it all afternoon, and just brought it up again saying “I want icecream. Why can’t I have your milkshake- it’s just sitting in the freezer.” I told him it’s mine and I’m allowed to treat myself sometimes and he says, “You always treat yourself, you always get coffee, and I want ice cream!” I don’t think he will be getting a cone the next time we go. He’s so spoiled it’s made him selfish. He does not handle me getting something without getting him something. How do you teach your kids to be thankful?
It’s one of those characteristics that must be developed in each one of us…cause we all kinda want what makes US happy more than we want to be THANKFUL. 🙂
The Bible puts it this way:
1 Thessalonians 5:18: “ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Give thanks in EVERY THING?
Children struggle with thankfulness. (But let’s be honest–Mommies and Daddies do, too!)
Those perfectly formed, delightfully precious, and sweet little babies quickly grow into toddlers and preschoolers who naturally focus on self-gratification. Turning the hearts of our children towards thankfulness takes purposeful, decisive work! We should not be frustrated that our children choose selfishness, but rather seek opportunities to teach thankfulness.
The wise parent will embrace the opportunity to cultivate an attitude of THANKFULNESS in their children.
I’m not saying anything you don’t already know, right? I mean, if you’ve been a parent for very long, you’ve witnessed the squabble over toys, the fussing over the favorite sippy cup, or the whining over not getting their
absolutely have to have it RIGHT NOW or I’m going to make you wish you’d never brought me along favorite cereal at the grocery store. RIGHT? 🙂
Do we have to just sit back and HOPE our children someday wake up thankful in all things?
Or can we cultivate this attitude of thankfulness in our children?
Here are five key ways we work on cultivating an attitude of thankfulness with our large family.
- Start young with verbalizing thankfulness. Toddlers aren’t likely to feel thankful just yet, and that’s okay. 🙂 But they can learn to say “thank you” whenever they are given something or someone serves them. Teach them to say “thank you” the same way you teach them any other skill! Repitition and patience are the keys here. Once you know your little one CAN say thank you (Our Titus is 14 months and can say his own little version of it already.) OUTLAST them if necessary until they say it every time you ask them to say it. Be consistent in the baby and toddler stage with saying “Thank you” as you’re setting the stage for a thankful attitude later.
- Don’t give your little ones everything they want. I realize this should go without saying, but just last week, we were eating in a restaurant and I was shocked by what I observed. A family with 2 young children (a girl around 2, and a boy around 5) came into the restaurant. As they ordered their food at the register, the children both picked up a drink from the display in front of them. The mom told the children, “We are going to get ONE drink and share, okay?” She took both drinks away and chose a white-colored drink. She handed it to the little boy, and he smiled excitedly. Meanwhile, the 2 year old girl had begun to climb up the display, trying to reach the red-colored drink. The mom put her down and repeated, “We are going to get ONE drink, this white one, and share, okay?” The little girl threw herself down on her bottom and began to kick her feet. The mom repeated herself one more time, as the girl began to scream for the red drink. Then she reached down and TOOK THE WHITE DRINK FROM THE LITTLE BOY’S HAND and put it back. He started to get upset, and she got right in his face and said, “Don’t you dare fight me on this. YOU just got new shoes. Let her have the red drink.” She reached for the red drink and handed it to the tantruming little girl. The little girl stood up smugly, with her red drink in her hands, and smiled. The little boy walked away with tears streaming down his face. Parents, you will never cultivate an attitude of thankfulness in your children if you give them everything they want. It is okay to allow your children to be occasionally disappointed, to wait for their special turn, or to do without for awhile:)
- Verbalize thankfulness frequently. Don’t expect children to be thankful automatically, especially when they are young. Teach them by your example, and start in your home. When we get finished with a good meal, my husband will loudly say, “Thank you, Mommy, for working so hard on this meal!” The children naturally repeat him. When my husband pays money for us to have a special treat (like a trip to the zoo or ice cream), I loudly verbalize, “Thank you, Daddy, for this awesome treat! Children, isn’t it awesome that your Daddy chose to give us this blessing?” They begin to copy my words and attitude, and the entire van is full of “THANK YOU, DADDY!!!” When I work hard to make a special dessert and the children naturally want to dive into it when I haven’t even sat down yet, my husband will cheerfully say, “WOW! Mommy worked hard to make an awesome dessert! Look at Mommy’s face. She looks tired. Let’s wait for her to take the first bite before we eat this yummy dessert.” When grandparents bless us with gifts, we verbalize thankfulness for them (and with them), like this, “Ethan, Grandpa sacrificed his hard-earned money to give you this special thing! We need to thank him for doing this!” Then we walk with the child and offer thanks. Teach your child to be thankful by being thankful yourself and openly verbalizing it.
- Serve your children with JOY. Maybe you weren’t expecting this point, but as my children have grown older, I have found this point to be one of the most important ones for cultivating thankfulness! We love to serve our children. We put them first often. I offer them the last piece of cake, and buy them new clothing before buying for myself. I will see them struggling with a job I’ve asked them to do and willingly take the job from them and finish it. (I know, I know. Some of you authoritative parents just took a giant GASP and are now in complete shock. lol. Please hear me out before tuning me out.) I have found that the more I joyfully serve and openly verbalize with my children about my service (that looks like this…”Oh, there’s only one piece of treat left. Mommy wants YOU to have it, because I love to serve you.” or “I know I asked you to fold this laundry, but why don’t you go enjoy the movie with the other children and I will finish it FOR you.”), the more they become thankful and serve others with joy! It’s true! If we’re serving our children with a grudging spirit, complaining about the work load, or sighing and acting irritated all the time, what do we expect THEM to do but copy us? Likewise, if we serve with joy (all the while teaching them to serve others as well), we will begin to see a joyful, thankful attitude in return. Before long, your children will be noticing when YOU are tired and offering to serve YOU.
- Continually acknowledge that all of our blessings AND trials come directly from the Lord. A truly thankful attitude comes from the contentment in knowing that all of our lives are in God’s hands. We can trust Him (and give thanks in EVERY thing!) when we fully believe that He is in control. What is your response when blessings rain down on your family? Do you acknowledge GOD’S handiwork and thank Him in front of your children? What about when the trials rain down and you can’t see your hand in front of your face through the darkness? Do you still thank Him then? Our children will never see Jesus in all things and learn to trust Him if WE do not continually SHOW Him to them! Openly thank God for the blessings AND trials of life in front of your children. I remember my dad being very hesitant to ever share financial details with his children (I think his goal was to keep us feeling secure). I have found that when we carefully share the ups and downs in life WITH OUR CHILDREN, they are strengthened in their own faith and encouraged to be always thankful.
Just one more personal illustration on this topic, as it hits close to home. Johanna (adopted at 14 from an orphanage in China) came home with a most unthankful attitude. 🙂 She was like a willful 2 year old, expecting to be served and to get her way, fighting against any and all kinds of unselfishness. We worked and worked (and worked!) on cultivating an attitude of thankfulness in her. First we role-played, then we expected verbal thanks, then we outlasted the refusal to say “thank you” about a million times. We served and loved and gave over and over again, all the while teaching and verbalizing thankfulness. I’m not going to lie, some days I thought we’d never get there. 🙂 But, those baby steps led to baby progress and eventually we have what happened this weekend: Saturday was my birthday, and it fell right in the middle of an amazing missions conference in which I was royally spoiled. One of the ladies in the church owns a boutique and gave me 2 bags full of lovely new clothes. Several people gave me gift cards for shopping, and the pastors’ wife and a sweet staff member blessed me with a new purse and wallet! By the time my family birthday party rolled around on Saturday, I had a whole PILE of new treasures. 🙂 After I opened my presents, I was sorting through everything on my bed, when Johanna walked in. She stood there for a moment, silently looking at everything. I know special days can be a trigger for Johanna’s PTSD, so I gently put my arm around her and said, “Johanna, are you struggling with jealousy because Mommy got new things? It’s okay to feel a little sad when someone else gets presents.” She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, NO, Mommy. I’m not jealous at all. I’m just so overwhelmed.” The tears began to fall as she said, “I’m just SO thankful that you got so many blessings!”
Don’t give up, weary parent. Keep cultivating that attitude of thankfulness in your children.
With you on the journey,
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