7 Signs That Your Kid’s Friend Is A Fool

Ah friends. We can’t live without them. And often, we can’t live with them. Quite bad friendnaturally, we want our kids to have good friends too. At their best, childhood friends are buddies, encouragers, and fellow enthusiasts who create bonds that last a lifetime. As Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” But at their worst, childhood companions are drama queens, bullies, and liars that bring a steady stream of misery into our families.

So how do discover if our kids’ friends are little angles or little demons? How do we help them determine who to get close to and who to run from? We appeal to the scriptures. According to the Bible, bad friends, fools, are defined by these 7 characteristics. Let’s take a look:

1. A Fool Hates God

We must encourage our kids not to trust themselves to those who mock God, the Bible, or the people of God. The kid who makes fun of VBS, says the Bible is not true, and lies about the pastor should not be our kid’s best friend. In Psalm 14:1 and in 53:1 we ready that, “The fool says in his heart, ““There is no God.”” Any girl, boy, or teenager who openly makes fun of church, misrepresents the Bible, and attacks God should not be welcomed as a friend. Those who hate God are by nature fools. Rather, we should encourage our kids to befriend those who enjoy being around other Christians, who read the scriptures, and who love God.

2. A Fool Despises Wisdom

If a kid or teenager is constantly rejecting the advice of his parents, teachers, and counselors, she should not become our child’s best friend. Those who despise wisdom and instruction are fools. Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”  And in Proverbs 28:26, we read, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Those who love the Lord know they don’t have all the answers. They also embrace the advice of those who are wiser than them. As Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” We should encourage our kids to seek out friends who love wisdom.

The heart of him who had understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly (Prov. 15:14).

3. A Fool Disgraces His Family

If the parents’ of your child’s friends are discouraged, exhausted, and frustrated by their child, run. Fools and those who will lead your children to sin exasperate and disgrace their parents. Proverbs 17:25 says, “A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.” A godly friend will be a blessing and encouragement to his family (Proverbs 10:1;15:5). Encourage your child to seek out friends who have good relationships with their parents.

4.  A Fool Talks A lot

He shares every feeling, every thought, and every supposed insight (Prov. 17:28; 29:11; Eccl. 10:14). And though he freely tells all, he refuses to listen to those around him. The result is chaos both in his life and the life of his friends. He fills his Facebook feed, Instagram account, Twitter handle, and Snap Chat messages with complaints, boasts, and slander (Prov. 10:14). His words (both typed and spoken) lead to fights, drama, and quarrels. As Proverbs 18:6 says, “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.” Don’t befriend this guy. Fools can’t help themselves from oversharing about pretty much everything. Encourage your kids to avoid the guy who “flaunt his folly” (Proverbs 13:16). Rather, encourage them to pursue kids who are slow to speak, and who are slow to take offense. As Proverbs 10:19 says,

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

5.  A Fool Enjoys Sinning

A bad friend will enjoy sin. They will encourage those around them to cheat, lie, and steal with them. Why? The fools views her transgressions to be nothing more than a joke. As Proverbs 10:23 says, “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.” The kid who loves breaking God’s laws should not become our kid’s friend. We should encourage our kids to befriend those who love God and flee from evil.

6.  A Fool Harms People

In Proverbs 13:20, we read that “the companion of fools will suffer harm.” If someone is a fool, he will lead his friends into detention, into conflict, and perhaps even into legal troubles. A good friend will never encourage our kid to sin. Good friends direct our kids away from sin. As Proverbs 14:16 says, “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Let’s encourage our kids to befriend those who love righteousness.

7.  A Fool Is Quick Tempered

Does a kid throw is bat at the baseball game, shout at his parents, and dress down his friends at a moment’s notice? Then we should encourage our kids to avoid him. Those prone to anger are not just over competitive. They are fools. Notice what Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” Pursue those kids who are humble.

 

If a child hates God, despises wisdom, disgraces their families, talks a lot, enjoys sin, harms others, and is quick tempered, they should not be our child’s friend. If our kids trust themselves to a fool, they will suffer harm. Their lives will be turned upside down by drama and sin. (This is not to say our kids should avoid all sinners. We should always reach out to unbelievers. But we should not let them direct our lives or speak into our hearts.)  As the apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Rather, we should encourage are kids to pursue close meaningful relationships with kids who love God and their neighbors. Our kids’ friends will shape our them. Are you ready to help them pick good ones?

Is it Time to Hate the Duggars?

duggarsIs it time to hate the Duggars? In recent days, the all American homeschool family of 19 kids has dropped to the level of Honey Boo Boo. The revelation that the oldest Duggar, Josh, molested his sisters and one other girl when he was 14 has left their groupies reeling in disbelief. What do we do now? I suggest we learn.

Being married, I have watched the TLC show on more than one occasion (Please let me keep my man card!).  And, I’ve heard Jim Bob and Michelle say that they want their show to be a medium for teaching others. I.e. they are trying to model what a godly, healthy family should look like. And though I am saddened to watch this tragedy unfold, I don’t think we need to write the Duggars off as hypocrites just yet. We can still learn one more important lesson from Arkansas most famous family.

No Perfect Parent

I once heard that a homeschool, graduation speaker deemed his audience of Bible thumbing guys and denim skirt wearing gals to be above temptation. Because these kids came from such great Christian homes, the seniors couldn’t even be corrupted by devil. Yay them!

Whether we follow after the Duggars, or think that our kids should be evangelists at school, or fall somewhere in the middle, we too can become super confident in our parenting style. Wear this, talk about that, attend this church type, and poof, we’ve created the perfect, godly, well-rounded kid. Yep, we did it. We created the perfected parenting! Yay us!

What a great sentiment! Sadly, it’s not a true one. This is one of the last lesson the Duggars will leave us. We can’t make good kids. I don’t know of a more dedicated couple than Jim Bob and Michelle. Having met them in person and having kept up with them via my living room T.V, I honestly believe they love the Lord. They decided to homeschool their children from biblical convictions. They placed a premium on family devotions. And, Jim Bob barely allowed his engaged kids to side hug. The Duggars did everything in their power to fence off their family from the evils of the world. And still, we found ourselves disturbed by a scandal involving Josh.  Why?

Why Scandals Happen

Kids are defiled from the inside out (Mathew 15:18). To fully keep sin out of our homes, we’d have to boot the kids to the street corner (and then we’d have to join them). Unless God saves and redeems our little ones, even the best parents will see their kids fail, and fail majorly. Even believers can fall into major sin.  Ultimately, evil can creep in and destroy because it lives in the heart of every kid. We must be on guard. And we must realize that only the Holy spirit through the power of Christ can keep our kids from evil.

What We Learned

We can learn much from  the Duggar scandal, as Dr. Russell Moore has pointed out . But I think the most important lesson that we can take from the Duggars today is this: there is no perfect parenting plan. As we watch the authorities and TLC sort through everything, let’s check over our own parenting style. Let’s avoid the temptation to think we’ve arrived. Join me in trying to avoid the thought that, “That could never happen in my family.” Let’s not boast in our ability to parent, presuming we are better than the Duggars (Galatians 6:1). Rather, we must realize that no family, close nit-town or church is immune from being rocked by sexual sin. We should take steps to prevent people from having the opportunity to sin.  And then, we should continually pray for God to spare our families, churches, and communities from evil. Let’s learn from the Duggars while we still have time!

What do you think? Will you keep watching the show if TLC releases a new season?