As a child, I remember singing old hymns at church and sometimes the words seemed a little confusing. For example, I wondered why bringing in the cheese was so important that we would rejoice over it (from the words to “Bringing in the Sheaves”) and if the person who wrote “I Surrender All” had trouble thinking of new words to write in his song. It seemed the only words in the entire tune were the same as the title. “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” held a similar issue for me. I mean, how could Jesus be my friend? He had no toys. He wouldn’t be coming over to our house to play anytime soon. In my childhood mind, it seemed that adults didn’t really get that Jesus lives in heaven.
Thankfully, maturity has taken place and understanding what it looks like to be a friend of Jesus holds a different meaning for me now. In thinking back on some of my childhood memories of church, I thought it would be a beautiful thing to talk about what it looks like to be a friend of Jesus. And to do my best to explain it so that any child could understand just how much we can show our friendship to Jesus. Let’s look at 4 ways we can show Jesus how much we enjoy his friendship.
- Friends spend time with one another.
No matter the traveling distance between them, good friends find ways to connect with one another. Whether a handwritten letter, a scattered text conversation or a lengthy phone call, friends enjoy spending time with one another because they love each other. If we want to show our friendship to Jesus or with Jesus, we will want to be purposeful about spending time with him.
- Friends like to talk with each other.
No encouragement lifts the heart like a sweet conversation with an old friend, right? Friends just love to chat with one another. The subjects they discuss can be anything because what they talk about doesn’t really matter. It’s how much they enjoy each other’s company. One wonderful way to show our friendship to Jesus is to pray and talk with him about anything and everything.
- Friends enjoy listening to each other.
When you need someone “just to listen,” then it surely is nice to have a friend who is willing to be there. One of the best things we can do for a friend is just to listen to their heart. Jesus wants his friends to do this for him. It may seem a little odd at a young age to listen to Jesus, but if we can learn to recognize some of the ways he speaks to our hearts, then this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship! Some of those ways might include listening to godly adults, reading God’s Word and thinking over it, or pausing after praying to let him know that we are listening and willing to receive whatever he whispers to our hearts.
- Friends share life together through good and bad.
One definite way to show friendship to Jesus is to continue doing any of the above-mentioned ways to show friendship whether in good times or bad. When our circumstances seem too difficult to bear or our emotions are running wild, true friends stick together through thick and thin. Jesus wants us to be a friend who will always share life with him, no matter what is happening in this world.
Help your kids grow in friendship with Jesus by encouraging them to spend time with him on a regular basis! Use a children’s devotional such as, Jesus Today for kids by best-selling author of Jesus Calling, Sarah Young.
What a wonderful friend we have in Jesus! Which of the above ways encourages you to be a friend to him?
By his grace,