Finding Friendship in Family
You’ve had a hard week and you can’t wait to share with someone close to you all about the ups and downs you experienced. You love talking to your close guy friend, but he doesn’t always understand you. Your best friend always wants to provide encouragement, which is nice, but right now you just need someone to listen. You could talk to your dog, but you do desire some sort of input. Really, you just want to talk to your mom. After all, she is your closest friend and she knows you more than anyone else.
The teenage years are an incredible time to start building that bridge between family members being friends. Your family is always around (and always will be), they know the good and bad sides about your personality, they’ve seen you grow and develop into the person you are. So, why discredit them? As you begin to establish yourself as an individual, independent of your family, your relationships with family members will start to change. Revel in that change and help it blossom.
But, you do need to realize that your family is still your family, and even though you’re excited to start seeing them as friends, there are some key things you need to understand as your bond progresses.
Your Parents are Still Your Authority.
Don’t forget your parents still have authority over you. They have a job to protect you. Abide by their rules, comply with their guidelines, adhere to their regulations, honor and respect their practices and try to understand their feelings and emotions. Obey your parents in an honorable way. Though you may begin to see them as a friend, don’t limit your regard for them. You might give your BFF sass or jokingly talk back with attitude, but don’t do this to your mom or dad. He or she puts up with a lot and deserves your utmost admiration.
You Should Still be Learning Valuable Lessons from Your Parents.
Let being a friend with your parent teach you responsibility, respect and other lessons in adulthood. Learn to communicate well with them, informing them of your whereabouts and upcoming plans. Update them on how school, friendships and life are going. Give them insight into what God is revealing to you and how you hope to grow. By being honest and courteous with your parents, they’ll share a lot more about life with you and support you in your journey, giving you more freedom and responsibility. Ask your parents to help you develop your trustworthiness, ensuring you’re a dependable, reliable citizen – characteristics that are incredibly valuable in our society.
Your Parents are Human and Deserve Your Respect.
Not only do the Ten Commandments say to honor your parents, but they say by doing so, you will live a long life. Be polite, civil and courteous to your parents, just like you would to a friend or teacher at school. Don’t treat your parents with disrespect, instead treat them with reverence. Everything you have in life is because of them. They will not be perfect parents, no one can be, but they are doing their best and want to see great things for you. So, desire to see great things for them as well.
Your Parents Need Your Prayers.
Hold your parents in high regard; they’re taking on a lot to care for you and your family in a society that’s crushing families. Lift them up in your prayers. Pray for their work situation, their friends, their time with God. Pray that God reveals Himself to them every day and gives them the opportunity to care for their body and their soul. Pray that God keeps them safe as they drive to and from your practices, the grocery store and work. Then, thank God for all the hard work they do for you, their perseverance, their love and their dedication to Him. Concern yourself with their life, but know that it’s not your responsibility to solve their problems. Their struggles are not your burden to bare, so don’t take it on, but instead lift it up in prayer.
Your Parents Aren’t Teenagers.
Even though you want to treat your parents like your best bud, you can’t. They aren’t teenagers. They have too much experience, knowledge and wisdom to be treated that way. So, don’t make your parents stoop to your level. Don’t expect them to dress like you, talk like you, want the same gadgets as you or be entertained like you in order to be cool. Your parents are who God created them to be, so instead of expecting them to be like you, raise your standards to reach their level and pursue the person God created you to be.
Grow Closer Together
As you and your parents‘ age, your friendship with one another will grow stronger. You currently need your parents to guide you into adulthood. They will always be your parents, but as you learn to stand firm on your own two feet, your relationship will begin to steer more toward friendship. As time goes on, your parents will gain the additional title of friend.
God loves relationships, whether they’re with friends or family. He delights in seeing them grow and thrive. Do your part, and you’ll have a flourishing family and many friendships to be thankful for.