Keep Your Friends Close and Your “Enemies” Closer

by | Mar 6, 2017 | 2017, Musings | 0 comments

Stop by any family restaurant on a school night and you’ll be able to see a classic exchange (actually the lack thereof) between parents and teenagers. Buried behind that diminutive phone screen are the eyes of a detached young girl or boy. They do not appear to be engaged in any aspect of family life and the sad thing is, the parents tend to let them stay hidden.

Contrast that scene with an article I recently read in the New Tribes Mission newsletter. It was describing the traditional way a local tribe arranged their sleeping. Typically, the men slept in the “men’s house” and the women and children slept off by their selves. It had been that way for generations. But then the gospel came to the village…

As Awayo and his wife, Simi, grew in their walk with the Lord, they were burdened to love one another and their children more. Seeing their children and their parental responsibilities in a new light, they decided to change their living arrangement.

 They built a new house for their family, one that they would all live in together. ‘We wanted our own place to live in, Awayo stated.’ Simi added, ‘I feel really burdened about teaching my kids. I pray about that all the time, especially for my little girl. I want her to read and understand the Scriptures when she is older.

 At night I pray often for that. For those reasons, we built a house where we can all live together. This way we can work together to teach our children. We are thinking when they leave home, we really want them to understand God’s talk.’”

After they came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, these tribal parents instinctively knew they needed to live life together as a family in order to influence their children spiritually.

This week, we all might pay attention to Awayo and Simi. They understand very clearly that in order to influence their kids, they have to be rubbing shoulders with those children on a very regular basis.

Sometimes, teenagers appear to be the “enemy.” Of course, they are not, but the old adage would still apply: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.”

Draw those kids in. Figure out their interests and join them in it. Discover their love language and use it.  Find things to do that zing their hearts. Talk to them. Pray with and for them.

Don’t let them hide!


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