It is always hard to see our children become heartbroken and hurt, but how do we help them overcome something they have seemingly no control over? Quite recently, one of my children found herself in a difficult situation. One of her friends wanted something and when my daughter wouldn’t give in, her friend became distant and cold towards her. Her body language was clearly saying, “I’m not your friend anymore!”
To make the situation even more sticky, it seemed her friend was intent on spending additional time with one of my other daughters instead. This put both of my girls in a difficult position and added to the hurt. I decided to tackle this one person at a time.
Divide and conquer!
I sat down with the offended daughter and talked through the situation. I made sure she knew she had every right to make a decision for herself and hold fast. She needed to decide how important this issue was to her and then move forward. We also talked about what true friendship should look like.
On her friend’s behalf, I encouraged my daughter to give the girl some time to calm down. Perhaps she was just upset and needed time to think things over.
I also wanted to reinforce the fact that, while my daughter had no control over what this friend did, she did have control over how she reacted. There was no need for her to carry around a burden of guilt or be overcome by sadness; she had control over how she would let this affect her. She needed to choose to move on, giving her friend space and time.
Additionally, I sat down with her sister and explained her part in this little game. I wanted her to understand she shouldn’t allow herself to be caught in the middle. Interestingly, sister mentioned how she had tried to use that time to soften their friend’s heart. She explained her sister’s point of view and attempted to make their friend understand.
While neither of my girls could force their friend to extend forgiveness, it was comforting to know that they did stick together and support one another in this circumstance. A few days later, it seemed all was back on track and their friendships resumed. While I am glad things are more normal, I think both my girls learned a valuable life lesson and became closer for it.
If someone is going to turn their back on you simply because you won’t do what they want, they are probably not your friend. If you act that way, the same could be said. May we walk into friendships thinking less of ourselves, inspired to give everything over to God and His glory. And through each of our relationships, may we be living examples of Christ’s love.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;”
~ Philippians 2:3
Your Turn!: What advice would you have given, had this been your child?