TEST OF FRIENDSHIP
TEST OF FRIENDSHIP
Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love
makes up for many faults. I Peter 4:8 (The Voice)
Living with teenagers is a lot like living in a Friends episode. Lots
of plot twists, plenty of drama . . . and some comedies of error that
aren’t always so funny.
Report cards came home last week, and I am very proud of my children’s
academic successes. After all, the middle school course load is heavy
However, I’m just as interested in tests that won’t be reflected on
the transcript. Growing up—and the life lessons that come with
it—makes for some challenging curriculum.
Of all the things kids must learn about in junior
high, relationships may be the toughest subject of all. Friendship in
particular poses some hard questions: “How do I cope with
disappointment, failure and hurt? How do I get back up after a friend
has let me down?”
This fall our family syllabus has been full of such moments:
She didn’t show. He didn’t apologize. The friend who always had my
back left me exposed to evil and evil-doers.
Nothing hurts a school kid worse than having a friend throw you under
the bus. Nothing hurts a parent worse than watching it happen.
And nothing is more challenging than finding the best solution.
Inevitably my children’s trials mean a pop quiz for me. What is the
right answer? Do I:
Try to fix it; or
Disciple my children through it.
I can do nothing . . . I can try to do everything . . . or I can make
the most of a teachable moment. And that is when we all learn
something new. Goodness knows I could always use some continuing ed.
on the subject.
The upside of failure is that it sends us back to the classroom for
Divine instruction. Wouldn’t you know, God’s textbook has a lot to say
about friendship. Like how to exhibit forgiveness, grace and mercy.
How to reconcile with a broken world . . . and how to be reconcilers
The fact is, sooner or later, we’re all going to bomb the friendship
test. We forget to call. Fail to apologize. Say the wrong thing for
the right reason. Because any equation that starts with two imperfect
people is bound to contain some errors. And even the best of friends
can face the worst of times.
Lucky for us, we can get remedial help any time we need it. As
disciples of Christ, we are lovingly schooled in the art of
relationship. Jesus came to teach friendship . . . by becoming our
My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There
is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You
celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don’t call you
servants any longer . . . I call you friends. John 15: 12-15 (The
Pam Richards Watts