By bro Lee Tian Seng
As it is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children in the way of the Lord, they must not neglect their duty in teaching their children to choose and make good friends.
Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
The fact is that children can be influenced by their friends to do good or to do evil.
Proverbs 13:20 - He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Psalms 1:1-2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
So, parents should warn their children about the danger of being influenced by their friends to do evil.
1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Proverbs 1:10-11 - My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause.
They should teach their children to choose good friends and to determine who they should associate with. If not, they run the risk of losing their children to the bad influence of their friends and the world. This can result in them losing their faith in God when they grow up and their hope of eternal life.
Parents have the right to determine who their children mix with. They have a duty to protect their children from the harmful influence of bad friends.
Besides teaching them, parents should consider doing the following practical things:
1. Get to know your children’s friends by inviting them to your home. This way, parents can observe the character of their children’s friends and guide them in their choice of friends.
2. Give your children opportunities to associate with good young people. They should encourage them to join activities that the church organises for children and young people, or organise gatherings with parents in the church who have children in the same age group.
3. Do not let your children go anywhere, including dates, unless you know the people they will be with, where they are going, when they’ll be back, etc.
4. Teach them the importance of marrying a Christian, which is one of the greatest influence in their lives. If they have unbelieving spouses, it will be difficult for them to stay faithful and to serve God diligently.
Finally, parents should train their children to talk about the Gospel with their peers. They could invite them to Bible classes and to church services. In doing this, parents help their children to shine their Christian light in this world of darkness.
Matthew 5:14-16 - “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.