Can you believe we are in the fifteenth week of our Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide study? I appreciate your faithfulness and your sticking with me through our study! One of the best subjects we can purposefully mentor our daughter in is the topic of friendships. Friends have been said to be the bacon bits in the salad of life. Friendships are truly one of life’s sweetest pleasures…but they can also be one of life’s deepest heartaches. And your daughter at the ages of 9-14 is probably experiencing this!
In our world today and certainly our daughter’s, the broad sweeping term “friend” is used to describe and define many different levels of relationships. Did you know in Switzerland the term “friend” is held in such high esteem it is bestowed very carefully upon only a very few acquaintances? So the term “friend” in Switzerland and a Facebook “friend” are light years apart.
Facebook has taken the term “Friend” to a new watered-down level. The term “Friend” is actually a techy term used for contacts by FB. They have masterfully marketed the term “Friends” as an appealing substitute for the rather cold-sounding term “Contacts”. Who doesn’t want to have thousands of “Friends”? I have no desire to run down Facebook, I’m just saying, this is a commentary of where our daughters are with the concepts of friends.
A wise counselor once explained friendship to me like this as he drew a diagram. (I understand things so much better when I see them!) He said, “In your life, you will have relationships that can be placed into consecutive circles that surround you. These circles are layers of intimacy and access to your life. The circle nearest you has the most intimate access to your heart. The next layer contains friends and the outermost layer contains acquaintances.” He had me make a list of all the relationships in my life and place them in a hand-drawn diagram of me in the center as a dot and three consecutively larger circles coming out from me. He then encouraged me to place each person’s name into the appropriate circle. This little exercise was eye-opening for me because it gave the mushy, fuzzy thoughts about my friends’ form and structure! When I saw the structure of my friendships with women, I was better able to discern the function and when you know the function of a relationship…you are less likely to hurt or be hurt.
- Remember the exercise I talked about that helps me define the structure and function of my friendships? Now it’s your turn! Grab a piece of paper and draw the diagram I described.
- Make a lovely dot in the center of the paper to represent you and draw three consecutively larger circles around it. On another piece of paper make a list of your friends. Now, fill in the diagram with where your friends belong according to how close you feel to them and how much access they have to your life.
*For example the circle surrounding you is to be filled in with the ones who know your heart, your deepest fears, your joys, in other words, your BFF. They would be considered an intimate, a bosom buddy, a confidant. In the next circle place the names of your chums, your buddies, and your girlfriends. The outer layer is for those you are acquainted with but your lives really don’t intertwine. Take a long hard look at how the names have been placed. Does it surprise you? I bet it did.
- Heads up! In this chapter, you will have the opportunity to speak with your daughter about friendships with boys. Prayerfully consider and discuss with your husband how to approach this topic.
Proverbs 17:17 (NLV)
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother (sister) is born to help in time of need.”
Post and Ponder
- Reflect on a close friendship you now enjoy or had in the past. Describe how it first took root, then flourished and grew! (Your daughter will be writing on this later on in this week’s chapter study!)
- I think we would all agree with this quote. “A person is made better or worse by his friends.” What do you look for in a friend?