"I would give my children the gift of friendship..."

     I read something yesterday that touched my heart completely. My last post was about how we can't do life alone, how we can't parent alone. Now this excerpt, taken from "The Heart of a Mother,"  written by Gloria Gaither, goes on to express how she wants, how I want, to show my children we not only can't do life alone, but we should be showing them what true friendship looks like.

     "I would give my children the gift of friendship. I would have them know the joy of sharing their hearts without having to speak words, to know they're forgiven without having to ask forgiveness, to know they are valued without having to achieve. 

     I would have them know the assurance of a clasped hand, the meaning of an exchanged glance, the stirring of a shared joy, the empathy of an unexpressed disappointment.

     I want them to grow up surrounded by the honest exchange of ideas and opinions, the risking of new experiences and adventures, the delight of enjoying the simple things, a circle of familiar  friends. This will help them know that friendships are necessary, possible, and worth the struggle that all great relationships demand. 

     I would have my children experience and enjoy friendships that cross age, race, gender, cultural, and religious lines-friendships that grow because they're nurtured, thrive because they're valued, and survive because they're resilient. I would like our circle of friends to be the kind that would help our children prepare the soil of their hearts for the seeds of friendship and help them learn to care for the tender sprouts of friendships in their young lives. 

     I would like our home to be a place where friendships can grow, blossom, and mature-a garden of friendship where strong-rooted, deep, old friendships thrive alongside new, experimental ones, hardy ones with fragile ones that need a lot of care. 

     I would teach our children that the greatest Friend of all is the God of the Universe, who cared so much about relationships that He chose to walk the dusty roads of earth with us. He confined His great mind to our finite thoughts and expressed His unfathomable truths in the words of a human language. He exchanged the grandeur of heaven for a simple carpenter's home, a friend's guest room, and a borrowed tomb. And He traded having us all as His slaves and servants for enjoying us as His friends.

     Most important of all, I would have my children know the great joy of an honest and intimate relationship with the Friend who sticks closer than a brother or sister." 
     Are you showing a good example of friendship to your children? Even if they are so little you don't think they are watching, they are. They are learning how to treat people by the way you treat those around you. They learning how to care for people by how well you care for others. 
      I know I don't want my children to grow up throwing relationships away over petty differences, or being afraid to be themselves for fear of rejection, or hiding away in a hole, living life alone and "safe." I want my children to have healthy, strong friendships. And it starts with us, their parents, to show them it's possible. 


  1. YES! YES! This is wonderful, Marybeth! (And by the way, this week seems a bit lonely or empty since we aren't seeing each other...)

    Where did you come across this book? It seems like it would be an excellent read for myself, and my husband (if he would be wililng).

    1. I agree! Next week for sure :)

      And I checked it out at the library. They have a little devotional section. It's amazing!


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