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?

The Forgotten Culture War

When you hear the term “Culture War” what pops into your mind? Gay activists yelling on the steps of the Supreme Court, Christians praying in front of abortion clinics, or perhaps politicians arguing for the removal of a nativity set? Typically, we don’t think about little Johnny lying to his mom. But, we should.

A World of Lies

Every cultural and spiritual battle is ultimately a battle of truth. Think back to Genesis 3. The snake deceived Adam and Eve. Lying blogSin arrives via the snake’s lie that God is not good. And sin continues to spread via the lie.

We get angry when we pick up another loss in fantasy Football or when our spouse forgets to empty the dishwasher, because we think victory or an empty dishwasher will bring true happiness. For that moment, we believe a lie.

And we spread lies because we don’t want to insult grandma’s cooking or because we don’t want to suffer the penalties that come with embezzling from our boss. We believe that lying will helps us avoid consequences. But it doesn’t because the perfect Judge sees everything and will hold us accountable when he returns.

Not too surprisingly our world which is ruled by the father of lies, Satan, is dominate by liars. Some researchers estimate that 1 in 5 adults are habitual liars. And this is not a new trend for these grownups.  Around 90% of people master the art of deception by the time they turn 4. It turns out that the little white lie is not so little after all. It’s a plague that infests our culture.

Why Kids Lie

As parents, pastors, and lay leaders, we should not be surprised to see kids lie. It happens all the time because most kids are living a lie. Many kids live for good grades, for softball championships, or for having tons of friends. They believe that something other than God can will make them happy. As the apostle Paul wrote, they as are all unrepentant sinners controlled by “deceitful desires” (Eph. 22).

Kids living for a lie will quite naturally be liars. They will lie about report cards and about breaking the lamp. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. When kids have corrupt deceptive hearts, lies will pour out of their mouths. That’s all they know to do.

The solution is truth. First, we have to begin telling the truth. Many kids keep lying long after 4 because their parents lie. “Honey, tell Grandma I’m in the shower.” We have to be faithful truth tellers in our everyday life. Jesus is, “the way the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). To follow him we must proclaim the truth. We must tell others that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and we must take grandma’s phone call.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. – Eph. 4:25

Next, we have to confront our kid’s lies. Their lies are not cute or insignificant. They may be bizarre. I had a young family member once tell numerous people that Shamu ate him. Please don’t start punishing kids for being fanciful, but do help them understand that such stories are not true. Even at an early age, kids can learn that truth resides in God and cannot be made up. Reality cannot be remade on a preschooler’s whim.  And that which is unnatural cannot be made natural by the Supreme Court. We need to help our kids understand the limits of imagination when confronted with God’s reality.

And lastly, we must discipline our kids for deliberate lies. I lied all the time as a kid, including doctoring my 6th grade math report card for an entire semester. Needless to say my parents were surprised to see that my standardize test ranking was in the 60th percentile. Yeah, turns out all those A’s were not so real after all. I spent the next several summers doing summer school. And as I wrestled with my punishment, I was acutely aware that I was sinner. By punishing me for my lies, my parents took on the lies that were controlling my heart. They showed me that true life and happiness is not found in escaping school work. It’s found in Christ.

By confronting a child’s lie, we can reach past their verbal message to the core of their heart. By championing truth in our homes, we show our kids that they need the savior of truth.

If we want our kids to embrace what the scriptures say about sex, abortion, and money management, we have to affirm truth in our lives and homes. Only truth of Christ can overcome lies of the snake.