A Heart for Friendship

 
 

Cultivating a heart for friendship lays a foundation that will serve your children, (and you!) the rest of your life. One of the deepest blessings of my life at this stage is the very close, intimate, inspiring, fun friendships I have with my now adult children. But, of course, as with everything else, it took years of heart-work. After all, we invested years and years in one another's lives. Kristen and I hope this podcast and post will be of help to you this summer as you invest in friendships with your own children and friends.

1.   Time and Availability Whatever the age, children develop better when they know we will make our time together a priority. People grow close not through monitoring one another’s behavior but by working together, playing together, talking together, celebrating together, weeping together. Relationships develop when people are there for each other—and that’s as true for parents and children as it is for anyone else.

2. Acceptance and Unconditional Love In building meaningful relationships with my children, I must learn to accept unconditionally the person God made each of them to be—even with personality traits that differ from mine or that make me uncomfortable. I need to accept the “warts” and irritating characteristics that may never change. I have to love my children with a mature commitment that reaches past my feelings for them, which can change from circumstance to circumstance.

3. Affirmation and Encouragement I believe most children, (and adults) are acutely aware of their limitations and their failures. While they might need correction for their mistakes and or even confrontation for their sinful selfishness, they also need recognition for their real efforts and accomplishments and positive reminders of who they can be with God’s help. And sometimes we need to remember, "It is to a man's honor to overlook a sin."

4. Grace Our children need us to give them the grace to grow. If we make them think that we expect perfection, then eventually they may give up trying to please us, because they know they will always fail, or they may spend their whole lives feeling guilty for their failures. And sometimes when life has too many rules, as teens, our children will quit telling us the truth of what they are doing for fear we won't understand or will condemn them. (We cannot live by fear.)

5. Relationship Training We need to consciously train our children in the skills and attitudes that will enable them to sustain positive relationships. A person can only experience true intimacy when his heart has been deepened and exercised in real love and commitment. Practice in manners and speech and gracious behavior comes over a lifetime of cultivating this day in and day out). This is taken from  Mission of Motherhood by me!)

Episode #85 A Heart for Friendship

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:13

"You are the first example of friendship to your children." - Sally Clarkson

" True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less." C.S. Lewis

You were never meant, or expected, to do life alone. In this episode, Sally and Kristen discuss how to impart a love of community and friendship to our children. They encourage moms to model how to serve in friendship themselves, as the first model their families will see, and explain what it looks like to serve in friendship through trust, loyalty, empathy and encouragement. They share how to become an invitation to others in everyday life, and how to teach your children to be a friend through:

-Trusting the Holy Spirit

-Training them how to share and live generously

-Teaching them HOW to create community

Ultimately, Sally and Kristen encourage and equip moms to cultivate their own hearts for service and love, while becoming a living example of how to put others first.

Then, they are joined by special guest and friend, Elizabeth Foss who shares her own testimony of trusting God even when we feel weary. Reflecting on her cancer journey and the community knit in her own family mothering nine children, Elizabeth reminds us all that there is nothing that we face that Christ has not also endured. She's also sharing about a special new project that we are excited to share with you called Take Up and Read 

Episode #85 A Heart for Friendship

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:13

"You are the first example of friendship to your children." - Sally Clarkson

" True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less." C.S. Lewis

You were never meant, or expected, to do life alone. In this episode, Sally and Kristen discuss how to impart a love of community and friendship to our children. They encourage moms to model how to serve in friendship themselves, as the first model their families will see, and explain what it looks like to serve in friendship through trust, loyalty, empathy and encouragement. They share how to become an invitation to others in everyday life, and how to teach your children to be a friend through:

-Trusting the Holy Spirit

-Training them how to share and live generously

-Teaching them HOW to create community

Ultimately, Sally and Kristen encourage and equip moms to cultivate their own hearts for service and love, while becoming a living example of how to put others first.

Then, they are joined by special guest and friend, Elizabeth Foss who shares her own testimony of trusting God even when we feel weary. Reflecting on her cancer journey and the community knit in her own family mothering nine children, Elizabeth reminds us all that there is nothing that we face that Christ has not also endured. She's also sharing about a special new project that we are excited to share with you called Take Up and Read, a place that invites women to read, to ponder, and to respond to the word of God and provides a gorgeous journal that can aid you in pouring out your own heart to Jesus, to embrace him in any area where you may be suffering, or to learn how to come alongside and be a friend to another person in your life who is walking a road of consolation.

We pray today will be a gift to your hearts as you listen along with us!

Elizabeth Foss is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She’s happy curled up with a good book or tinkering with a turn of phrase. Long walks make her heart sing and occasionally cause her to break into a run. Though she travels frequently, it’s usually only between northern Virginia and her beloved Charlottesville, or to the weekend’s dictated soccer or dance destination. You can find her personal blog at www.elizabethfoss.com

Elizabeth Foss is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She’s happy curled up with a good book or tinkering with a turn of phrase. Long walks make her heart sing and occasionally cause her to break into a run. Though she travels frequently, it’s usually only between northern Virginia and her beloved Charlottesville, or to the weekend’s dictated soccer or dance destination. You can find her personal blog at www.elizabethfoss.com

Find this week's Bible Memory Printable by clicking here!

And if you're looking for our June Calendar full of things to do, books to read, art to view etc. etc. you can find that here!

This week, try teaching your children one of your favorite childhood games--chess, jacks, hopscotch ... whatever you enjoy! Have a wonderful time just being friends.

I WILL BE DOING A SHORT FACEBOOK LIVE ABOUT SOME ASPECTS OF CULTIVATING A LOVE FOR YOUR CHILDREN THROUGH RELATIONSHIP MONDAY, 7:30 Mountain TIME AT THEREALSALLYCLARKSON ON FACEBOOK. HOPE YOU CAN JOIN ME. I WILL ADDRESS A LITTLE BIT OF HOW TO LOVE YOUR CHILDREN WHEN IT IS HARD TO DO.