Chapter 15 ~ Friendships

by Shelley Noonan

Hello!

Can you believe we are in our fifteenth week of our Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide study? I appreciate your faithfulness and sticking with me through our study!  One of the best subjects we can purposefully mentor our daughter in is the topic of friendships. Friends has 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 daughter’s are with the concepts of friends.

A wise councilor 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 names into the appropriate circle.  This little exercise was eye opening for me because it gave my mushy, fuzzy thoughts about my friends form and structureWhen 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.

 

Your friend,

 

Activities:

  • 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 and intimate, a bosom buddy, a confidant. In the next circle place the names of your chums, your buddy’s, and your girl friends. 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.

Memory Verse:

 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 weeks 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?

 

 

 

 


 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary January 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

Wow! I did something right! Last Sunday my daughter was sick and I was home with her from church. We read the chapter on friendships, and ended up having a LONG discussion on this topic. We did the circles around you drawing and all kinds of light bulbs went on in her – but here’s the kicker: I hadn’t read your blog yet! That just seemed an easy way to help her set right expectations and trust levels with her various friends/acquaintances. Aaaahhh. One of those great mom moments.

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Shelley January 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

Wooohoooot!
I would call that a CONFIRMATION indeed! Congratulations on pursuing your daughter’s heart, listening to her needs, helping her tackle a difficult problem…and reading my blog. And oh, if that is not enough? My dear, you get DOUBLE points for writing a comment! Savor your Great Mom Moment! And please, keep in touch…let us know how things are going with you and your daughter.

Blessings,
Shelley

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Jan January 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm

This was a timely discussion for us as we have changes going on in our circles of friends; some moving in, some moving out. Because of this, we talked about how there are seasons in life, and sometimes those seasons include having just a very few (maybe even one) really good friends. We also talked about how God uses those times to build other things in us. Although I believe he wants us to have earthly friends, it’s important that we know that He wants to be our BEST friend. I appreciated the comments in BG about how we aren’t to share our hearts with just anyone, that certain things are just for our closest friends. We also enjoyed reading through the Bible verses in the Companion Guide about the characteristics of a friend.

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Shelley January 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Jan, Isn’t the Lord amazing how He manages to get us the information and encouragement we need…when we need it? Praying for you and your sweet girls this week.

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