A Good Friend

This morning, I watched two boys tumble out of the backseat of my car and scramble towards the school.  Their backpacks bounced wildly as they ran and playfully shoved each other off the sidewalk.  I couldn’t hear them, but I knew that they were giggling and calling each other out with mock indignation, “Duuude!?”

Since the day I knew I was pregnant, I have prayed for many things for my child, but my constant prayer has been that he would be blessed with a good friend.  As I watched the two boys disappear around the corner, I sensed that for this season at least, my prayer had been answered.

When I say “a good friend” I don’t mean someone who enjoys the same things he does or someone who will reciprocate play dates.  What I want for Sean is a friend who possesses the Biblical quality of goodness – a good friend.  Proverbs 17:17 says, “A good friend loves at all times” and a friend who loves at all times does not let his buddy do something that would make his mommy sad.

And in Bryan, Sean’s BFF for this season (or dare I even hope, for life?) I see a boy who has the fruit of goodness growing in him.

Not long ago, Bryan was over to play and Sean was being a real toot.  When I took Bryan home, I told him I was sorry that Sean had not been very nice to him and he said – and this blew me away – “That’s okay, he’s probably just tired.”

Grace and goodness – what more could you want in a friend?

Bryan’s mother tells me he has his days too (who doesn’t?) but on the whole, I see in him an innate desire to do what is good and right.  He is a boy who is cautious and doesn’t like getting in trouble and Sean needs someone like that to temper his sometimes dramatic free-spiritedness.

I know that with each passing year, the influence of the world will increase in his life and my influence will decrease.  I know that the company he keeps will influence the choices he makes.  I know that the stakes only get higher as his world gets bigger.  The people he chooses to partner with in friendships along the way will have a hand in writing the story of his life.

I know that the time is coming when I will have to lengthen the rope, to let him go with his friends (clear out of my sight!) and in letting him go, he will encounter choices to go left or right.   And I think the best I can hope for is that he will have at least one good  friend who will hold him accountable, who is willing to challenge a questionable choice or at least speak up and say, “Dude. Maybe you shouldn’t do that…”

At some point in life, one has (hopefully) developed some wisdom and discernment, and friends of all sorts is a good thing; I think we are called to that.  But for a nine-year-old who has yet to fully develop those traits —  right now he needs, and has, a good friend.

And that is an answered prayer.


12 thoughts on “A Good Friend

  1. Oh how I love reading your thoughts! I have never commented before, but wanted you to know it is wonderful to have you share more frequently.


  2. I have prayed this for my kids at each new place, and sometimes the prayer has been answered and sometimes it hasn’t. Friends are so very important. I’m glad your son has such a good one, and I’m thankful for those my kids have had over the years–and for the ones in my life too!


  3. I prayed this same prayer many times for my now 38-year old son. I got a surprise in that his best friend from kindergarten was not what I would have picked. He was a disaster from the start but I loved the little devil anyway. Their friendship made me pray even harder as they sailed through highschool and spent most of their time doing whatever highschool boys do. One day I realized that whilst my prayer wasn’t answered in the way I wanted the friend’s Mom’s was. She had prayed for a boy who could stand by her roudy son and be a buffer. My son was that. His cool head, good heart and amazing good nature ended scuffs for his friend before they could excalate.

    And now that boy is more mellow and knows in his heart what my son meant to him growing up. My son was home on business just last week and as he and his friend sat at the table for dinner I teared up remembering the long talks and how life has brought us to this moment at my table. These two boys will remain friends until the day they die.

    I am starting anew with the prayers as my son’s first child and my first grandchild *a boy* makes his debut in march that the Lord with bring him such a friend in life. Maybe a little less roudy but with heart bigger than the moon. Only God knows what He has in store for me this time. I know the last surprise gave my son the chance to shine and be what is called a true friend to a boy that needed him.


  4. One of my best moments as a mom, was when a friend told me something her son had told her. Her son and my son, friends, had been at a social event. Boys hanging out in someone’s basement. They were about 13 at the time, I think. The other boys all played a video game, which her son and my son didn’t want to play. It was M rated and violent. So they played pool all day instead (and got very bored, he said). I was so pleased those two boys had each other.

    They drifted apart over time, and it was a sad moment of realisation, when I was helping my son decide who to invite to an event a couple years later, and started off the list with that boy. My son replied “I don’t really spend any time at all with him any more at school. We’re just in different groups.” They’d moved on.

    That’s a somewhat bitter-sweet comment, isn’t it?

    * * *
    I love your comments Iota, I love what you bring to the conversation.


  5. I hope for my kids to both have and be that kind of friend.

    Because while Sean might need a Bryan…there is a boy somewhere who needs a Sean.

    * * *
    Oh! I love my wise Amy Nathan friend. I was just thinking of you today because for some reason I was re-reading The Box which came together with your great insight. BTW, I can’t wait to read your new book, The Glass Wives!


  6. I am right there with you. Our older son is six, and I worried all last year because he didn’t have that one good friend. He got along fine with everyone in his class, but he didn’t seem to click with anyone. This year, though, he has a wonderful friend with whom he loves playing, and this fellow is a super little guy. I feel like a prayer has been answered.

    It’s good to see you pop up in my Google Reader again!


  7. What a beautiful story! After reading your blog for some time, I’m guessing Sean is wise beyond his 9 years and one day, he may find a not-so-good friend to whom he can be the “good” friend. I’m thinking he’d be wonderful at it.


  8. As a grandmother of six, 5 of them age 6-10, I pray that they all find a friend like Bryan. Some of my grandchildren go to a conservative private school, and sometimes are made fun of because of their dress is just a little different. I’m praying this makes them strong in character & they learn not to “make fun” of others.


  9. Amen Amen Amen! Friendships are hugely important (sometimes I wish they weren’t quite so influential but they are!). Just this morning I was asking God to bring people into my girls’ lives (workers in the harvest field, so to speak) to influence and mentor them. Thanks so much for sharing your heart so beautifully!


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