Last week, we looked at what the Bible says about fools. Specifically, we examined 7 foolish character traits the define someone as a bad friend. (Click here to read that post) But the question remains, “What kind of friend should our kids have? What does a good friend look like?” Let’s take a look at how the Bible describes the wise (i.e. those gals and guys that will prove to be faithful friends). A great friend will:
1. Love God
If a person is truly wise, they will love God, the source of all wisdom. As Proverbs 2:6 says,
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
A good friend must cherish the things of God. They must love God’s word, his church, and his people. A good friend will always seek to obey God. As Proverbs 1:7 famously says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
2. Respect Their Parents
A wise child will value their parents’ advice and counsel (Prov. 4:1,5). They listen when their parents offer them practical, biblical wisdom about dating, school, work, money, and friends. And because they listen to their parents, wise kids avoid many disastrous decisions. They bring both their mother and their father great joy. As Proverbs 23:24 says,
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Wise kids value their parents.
3. Speak Well
A wise child does not speak all the time (Prov. 29:9). Their Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat can lay dormant for a few hours. They don’t feel the need to comment on everything thing their friends, parents, and teachers say. And when they do speak, they add to the conversation. Their words are kind, loving, and thoughtful. As a result, they often win people over to their point-of-view (Prov. 16:23).
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out. – Proverbs 15:2)
4. Be Humble
How do you know if a child is humble? Try correcting them. Try to help them with the swing, complete their homework, or to stop sinning. A humble, wise kid will listen to you and value your input (Prov. 9:9). They will say, “Show me more!” The fool will say “No thanks; I got this old man” (Prov. 12:15). If anything the fool will try to teach you how to coach, teach, or discipline better. As the Scriptures say,
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. – Proverbs 12:2.
Let’s encourage our kids to befriend people who can accept criticism.
5. Promote Peace
A wise, good friend makes friends where ever she goes. Instead of stirring up arguments and drama, a wise friend brings peace and harmony (Prov. 12:18; 29:8). In addition to bringing peace with their lips, wise friends keep their friends out of trouble. They encourage their friends to complete their homework, to tell the truth, and to honor their parents (Prov. 13:14). As Proverbs 24:3 says,
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
Let’s encourage our kids to value wise and understanding friends.
As the first point makes clear, to be a good friend one must be a believer. This is not to say that friendships with unbelievers are sinful, misguided, or meaningless. But the best and most meaningful friendships occur within the body of Christ. No one can be a good, wise friend apart from Christ since all wisdom comes from him. Are we ready to help our kids find good friends?