Friends Forever

Friendships come and friendships go. Even the best of friendships rarely last forever. Think back to your best friend from grade school, are you still friends? A few people have stayed in contact with grade school friends, but many have lost touch with the friends from their younger years. It’s possible to reconnect with those old friends via facebook or other social networking sites. Still very few friendships last a lifetime. We grow up, we change, we move away, get married, change jobs, our interests change and we lose touch.

Talking about friends, what about your friends? Who are they? How many long time friends do you have? How many new friends? I have found that I don’t have very many long time friends except for my family and families are the best friends to have I think. Thanks to social networking however, I did recently rediscover a friend from long ago. It was fun to reconnect! Whether your friends have been friends for a season or for the long haul,  thank God for them. God gives us friends so that we don’t have to do life alone. We need friends to cheer us on, pray with us and encourage us. We need friends to help us in our walk with God and yes, to hold us accountable when we make a commitment or need to make a change.

All this talk about friends brings me to a friend that I am very thankful for. This friend is someone who is there for the long haul. He never leaves us even when the going gets rough or when we mess up. He’s always there for us. He forgives us, gives us grace and strength for every day and He never stops loving us. He has good plans for us and He’s my best friend forever – yes, forever. His name is Jesus. Other friends may be there for a season, but Jesus will always be with us. As the preschoolers at my church like to sing exuberantly, “Jesus is a good, good friend.” Do you need a forever friend? Why not ask him to be your friend too? I know he’ll say, “Yes!” if you simply ask.

PS – Don’t forget to thank God for your friends this week and especially for Jesus. Oh and one last thing, if you want to make friends then be one – that’s good advice for kids and grown-ups! Guess I better go now and work on being a good friend. Bye!

PARENT PRAYER:
Jesus,
I’m so glad that you are a good friend. You forgive and heal and do miracles in our lives when we come to you. Thank you too, Lord, for giving me friends here on earth. Thank you for friends who stick with me through good times and bad. Thank you for friends who encourage me and walk with me. I want to be a good friend and bring my friends to you because you and you alone can forgive and heal. Often I get too busy to really be a good friend. I want to change that, Lord. Teach me  to stop long enough to love and help my friends. Guide my steps each day. Amen.

FOSTERING FRIENDSHIPS WITH YOUR KIDS
* A child’s first friendships are members of his/her family. Be a good friend – as your child interacts with you, smiling, laughing and playing, he/she is learning communication skills that will later enable him/her to make friends.

* First friendships are formed when babies or young children simply play alongside another child.

* Introduce your child to another child in your church or preschool classroom.

* Have a play date and invite another mom and her child over.

* Role play with your child ways to make new friends by introducing themselves.

* Think about and talk about what it means to be a good friend. How are you being a good friend? How can you encourage your child to be a good friend? Being a good friend involves listening, thinking of the other person’s wants and needs, sharing and having fun together.

* Remember everyone at some point or another goes through loneliness. Don’t be afraid to make the first move in saying, “Hi!” to someone – even if you are not sure if they are new in your class or church or not. You may feel like the outsider who has just arrived, but the other person may also feel like the outsider. Just introduce yourself and say, “Hi!”

* Praise your child’s attempts to make friends and be friendly.

What Can You Do With Your Child?

SHARE A STORY:

STORY REFERENCE: 1 Samuel 20:12-42
David and Jonathan were very good friends. They loved each other a lot! (Give self a hug.) But Jonathan’s dad was the king and he didn’t like David. (Make sad, mean face.) He wanted to hurt David. Jonathan promised David that he would find out if his dad was still mad and then he would let David know so that he could get away and be safe.

Jonathan talked to his dad. King Saul was very angry! He did want to hurt David. This made Jonathan very sad, (Show sad face.) but he had promised to let David know. Jonathan went out to the field where David was hiding with his bow and arrows. He shot his arrows so that David would know he needed to get away. Afterwards David came out of hiding to say good bye to his friend, Jonathan. They cried together (Say, “Boo hoo!”) and promised to be friends forever. (Say and clap, “Friends forever.”) They promised to always be kind to each other. God gave David a very good friend. His good friend was Jonathan. Jonathan and David loved God (Point up.) and they loved each other. (Give self a hug.)

You can be a good friend too, just like David and Jonathan were. Ask God to help you be a good friend and show kindness just like Jonathan did to David. Let’s remember to thank God for our friends this week. We can also remember to say, “Thank you!“ to our friends when they share with us or help us. I’m glad that God gave us friends and families to help us.

PRAYER:
Dear God, Thank you for my friends. Help me to be a good friend and be kind to others. Help me remember to share. Thank you God for being my friend too. Amen.

MEMORIZE: 1 Thes. 5:18 – (Hold hands open as though holding a book.) Give –                     (Extend hands outward as like giving a gift.)
Thanks –               (Clap hands.)
No matter –         (Shake head.)
What happens – (Throw hands out to the sides.)

STORY THE MAIN IDEA:
KNOW: God made me. God made my friends.
TALK ABOUT: Tell your friends, “Thank you!”
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
AND DO: Thank God for my friends. Thank God and others.
ASK: Who made you? God made me.


 

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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