Watching my kiddos play, hang out, and interact in general is a delight to me.
Except when it isn’t.
I have six kiddos and they are all sinners. No big surprise there, right?
I have six kiddos and they are all uniquely designed. No surprise there either.
I have six kiddos and each have their very own hearts. It turns out that I was surprised at how that truth clashed with a belief I used to have.
Not that long ago, I believed my children should be best friends. I believed that it was right (aka: biblical) to believe so, promote so, and expect so. After leaving a relationship that taught this (and several other anti-Biblical behaviors) and after learning more about my own weaknesses and leanings, I started to reevaluate my beliefs.
It has been like I am taking each belief out of a box and looking at it with fresh eyes. I’m using the Bible only to decide if that belief is right, or if it’s a conviction issue, or if it is flat out wrong.
Its a process and will take awhile.
Anyway, at some point, I realized that the expectation that my kiddos should all be best friends was revealed as unbiblical.
While I still would enjoy it if they were, I have taken that expectation off of them. Why?
- I have no right to dictate their hearts’ leanings/connections.
- No where in Scripture does it say that siblings should be best friends, nor does it imply it. (It only implies that they be there for one another.)
- Their individual design will decide which people they are closest too.
- When I place a burden (especially one that I teach is biblical) on them that they can not fulfill, I set them up for feeling like they are disappointing me, and worse, like they are disappointing God.
- I can only train in how to treat people and how to consider them, not how to feel about them.
Does this mean that they are not trained in how to be friendly? Of course not! My kids are actually all good friends, possibly most are even besties right now.
I still believe that the family is a very special entity. I still believe that God chose each individual member to place in a family, for that individual’s benefit as well as the family as a whole. I still believe that we are called to learn the importance of all biblical behaviors here, in the family, first and foremost.
Relationships are hard. Family is the crucible.
Best friends (aka: the person/people your heart is closest to; and by the way, I don’t even like the term “best friends”! A post on that coming up!) are not decided by training in biblical behavior, but by the individual’s preferences, leanings, personality, and that weird intangible. I have no right to decide who that person will be for each of my children.
I believe that I should train my children how to encourage each other’s strengths, pray for each other’s weaknesses, how to truly love one another, and how to take care of one another. Those are definitely all shown in Scripture.
I’ll trust God with the rest.
“A friend loves at all times, a brother is born for adversity” Proverbs 17:17