Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talking About Girls, Friends, and Accountability

I'll be tackling several components of friendship at the Pure In Heart Conference in Tampa (ten days away!). One of those has to do with accountability. Below is an excerpt from my book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose.

Accountability has become somewhat of a buzzword among Christians, especially among men’s and women’s small groups. If we are not careful, our children will get the impression that accountability is an adult thing, when it is really a Christian thing.

Accountability simply means to be held answerable for accomplishing a goal, completing a task, or even behaving in a certain way. In our Christian circles, it can mean that one is held responsible for the knowledge she has gained. For example, if your pastor preaches on tithing one Sunday morning, you are then accountable to act like a person who has learned about tithing. Having learned what God’s Word says about that financial principle, you are expected to act on it. As a Christian, you are accountable to apply those biblical truths to your life.

In the same way, our kids need to understand that in close Christian friendships, accountability has the right to ask questions:
Why did you do that?

Accountability has the permission to confront:
Dude, she is your sister! Don’t treat her that way!

Accountability has the privilege to probe:
Why don’t you like playing with your little brother? He just wants to hang around us.

Accountability in a friendship must exist to tackle the hard questions as both people are called higher in relationship with Christ.

As children grow into middlers, they will be approaching their friends more and more with their various problems and life issues. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be coming to you, Mom! It just means they will also be turning to their friends. They need to be choosing friends who can provide them with trustworthy counsel and good, solid advice.

Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose (2008, Tate Publishing) is available as a book, e-book, audio book, and on Kindle. Click HERE for all your purchase options!

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