The Sun U.K. reports that in order to keep children from ever having to suffer the pain of a broken relationship, they are implementing “best friend bans” on primary grade kids. That story got me thinking about peas and carrots.
Remember the scene from Forrest Gump when he and Jenny meet on the school bus for the first time? “We were just like peas and carrots,” he said. They just go together.
Forrest and Jenny were the most special of friends. Sure, there times when the choices they made severed their ties for a season. And yes, they hurt each other. Like all real relationships, they found themselves on different sides of many issues. But ultimately, their friendship stood the test of time.
Today you might call them BFF’s, best friends forever.
We all know the dangerous downside of our children announcing in their youth that they have a BFF. A day later everything can change and that person has moved on to someone else. Hearts are broken, tears flow, tempers flare, doubts rise. But important lessons are learned.
How are we to teach the lessons of Judas’ betrayal or Peter’s denial if our children do not understand what it means to be knit into the heart of another person? How can we teach them the sacrifice made by Jonathan in order that David might be king if they do not know what it is to have a BFF?
I deeply appreciate the approach taken by a mom at Mars Hill church whose daughter was in search of new best friend.
“Mom, who is your BFF?” my daughter asked. That’s actually a pretty good question. We desire to have someone whom we can know and count on forever. My husband would qualify as my best friend but lacks the “forever” designator since we didn’t meet until I was 26.
As her mother, I want her to know that the only person who really qualifies for the title in my or any of our lives is Jesus. Any 12-year-old girl would ultimately fail her in every way as a BFF . Other friends will love us based on what we do, wear or say.
So with some gentle coaching, my husband and I redirected our daughter off her BFF search. You see, that role of BFF in her life, was already fulfilled: Jesus chose her several years ago.
JESUS IS OUR FRIEND
1. Jesus calls us His friend. We are no longer servants. Servants don’t know what their master is doing. Jesus made known all that God told Him. We are His friends because He didn’t withhold any of God’s instruction from us (John 15:15). How many friends have you had who always spoke truth with love? Jesus kept no secret from us. He shared God’s truth and love for us, openly and freely.
2. Jesus died for us. Jesus showed His love and the depth of His friendship with us by laying down His life for us (John 15:13). Jesus put us before Himself, modeling how we should love our friends.
3. Jesus loves us for who we are, not what we do, wear or say. Our identity as a believer in Christ is based in Christ, as His friend. Our friendship with Jesus is not based on our common interests, hobbies, in how we act, how we dress or what we say.
4. Jesus chose and knows us. Sometimes we choose friends and sometimes friends pursue and choose us. Jesus loved us first and chose us (John 15:16). He pursues us, accepts us and knows us better than we know ourselves.
JESUS IS WITH US FOREVER
1. Jesus lives forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). He will never die on us. Our friendship with Him will last forever because He lives forever.
2. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. (Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5). Jesus isn’t going to move away or pull away. He won’t quit on us. Jesus will never give us up for someone else or something else.
3. Jesus is always with us. He is with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Jesus is never too busy for us or occupied with other matters. He is present for every tear and every joy. Other friends will never be able to spend every moment with us. Jesus is with us always.
Some friends will leave us and forsake us, be busy, and ultimately take their last breaths. I’m so grateful my girl loves Jesus. He is the “one and only” best friend. Forever.
Who is your BFF?
As I have aged I have come to deeply appreciate other people whose BFF is Jesus. The three who top my personal list are Tiana, my sister, who has been “for me” when I wasn’t even “for” myself; Jessica, my soul-friend since high school, who has allowed me to God-mother her children and trusted me in ways I am certain I do not deserve; and my precious husband, Jim, who knows and loves me in ways that are utter mysteries to everyone else. He is my person, but he is not my BFF.
T, Jess and Jim are my three and they each hold permanent seats in the front row of my life. But none of them comes close to being my audience of One who is both the source of my joy and the One whom alone I seek to please. These three are the best of the best and yet they all know they do not come near to being Best nor first in my heart. For Christians, that’s an important clarification to make – with our spouses and our friends.
Peas and carrots, yes. We each have people who are our most special friends, but the seat of BFF is already occupied, forever.