Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
The fact is, that our young people need to be around wise, older counsel. There is no mandate in God's Word that children must have a friend. Repeatedly we read of a father telling his son to get wise counsel (Proverbs 19:20)
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Everything Christ did on this earth is for us an example. When we look at His childhood, we never read about He being with peers as a young man. If the typical parent today left their child at the Temple for three days and had to return to find them-most would find them playing with peers. Not Christ, He was found in the Temple amongst lawyers and teachers. Why? Our young people need to be around wisdom. Now in that story, Jesus amazed the men with His Wisdom...then again, Who was the older?
Today, as written earlier, parents are leaving sound churches because their child has "no friends." Do they need one? What influence are they having on your child? Is it a positive one? Apparently not, for our next question on our teen survey reads:
I would describe my closest friends as:
A: very strong Christians...40%
B: Saved, but not right with God...51%
C: Lost and wordly...9%
Knowing the Truth of God's Word, that evil communications corrupt good manners, and applying that principle to our survey results: 60% of our IFB young people are being daily corrupted by wrong friends! Is it no wonder we are losing them to the world? We are allowing them, under our watch to be corrupted!
Sorry, your 'good' child will not change the 'bad' child by being their friend. The healthy catch sickness, not the other way around. It only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch. Get the picture?
I am not rebuking anyone, I am challenging Me! I am challenging You! Watch who your child's friends are! Cut through all the fog and be honest for just a second. Look at your children and who they are close to, and answer Biblically: Are your children being corrupted?
In this age of political correctness and nobody's feelings aloud to be hurt, we compromise and allow our children to get close to those we know are not right with God. I am not speaking about putting our children in a box and never letting them out. Yes, put them in Sunday School, send them to school, take them to the park...but be careful who we allow them to get close to and become friends with. We all know the difference!
We are losing our young people to the world and false churches-this is an unfortunate fact. There is much we can do, and one area is in friendships-let us not allow them to be corrupted before our very eyes.
The principle of 2 Corinthians 6 of being unequally yoked is in context speaking about marriage, but a principle quite true for friendships as well.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?Need it be said, our children's friends cannot be lost people! Yet, 9% of those surveyed are.
Our young people must have friends who are an example to them and a challenge to them to do right:
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Our children's friends should be those that bring safety, not destruction and shame:
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
We as parents need to stop and pray and answer honestly, are our children's friends right in the eyes of the Lord? We need to beware! The wrong friends will destroy our young people. As Philippians 3:2 reads:
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers
Ask Amnon, Judas, Rehoboam...bad friends and counsel lead to destruction. Many parents do not even know who their children's freinds are, much less if they are right or not. I've heard many say, "Ah, they aren't perfect, they're kids, but they are good kids. There are alot worse out there." Perhaps, but according to your young people, they know that 60% of their friends are bad influences on them. The question is not 'Are there worse out there?' but rather 'Are our children being corrupted?' May we be honest in our answer and actions.