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Children like to spend time playing and talking with their friends. And that’s great.  But what kind of friends should they choose?

In the Bible, God gives us some very useful advice for our lives, so that we can be really happy.

For example, “Abraham believed God…He was even called the friend of God.” James 2:23

And Paul wrote to the people in Corinth, “Don’t be fooled…bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

One day, a father asked his son to stop spending time with a local boy because the boy was having a bad influence on him.  The father just didn’t want his son to pick up his friend’s bad habits and bad behaviour.  It was a bit difficult for the son, but he obeyed his dad because he knew he was just trying to protect him and wanted the best for him.

In the Bible, God tells us about the friendship between a young woman and her mother-in-law (Ruth and Naomi), and the friendship between two young men, David and Jonathan.

Ruth’s husband had died and she had to choose either to stay in her own country, Moab, or go with Naomi, her mother-in-law, who wanted to go back to Israel.  Ruth knew nothing about Naomi’s country, but read what she said to Naomi, “…Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” (Ruth 1:16).

She did not want to be separated from her mother-in-law, who she had got to know well, and who she knew loved the one true God

So Naomi returned to Israel with Ruth, Ruth found a new husband and had a beautiful baby that brought joy to all their hearts.

David was a simple shepherd and Jonathan was the son of the first king of Israel, Saul.  The enemies of the people of God wanted to wage war against them.  They sent the giant, Goliath, to fight against the champion fighter in Israel’s army.  But there was no champion in Israel!  They were all afraid of the giant.

David arrived and when he found out that Goliath was making fun of the people of God, he went out to meet him, armed only with his catapult and five pebbles.  But he had the power of God on his side and Goliath was beaten, despite his large, heavy sword and his armour.

When Jonathan saw David do this with God’s help, he decided to become his friend.  He even gave him his bow, his sword and his prince’s robe. (1 Samuel 18:4)

Jonathan already knew that he was not going to be king after his father, Saul.  He wasn’t jealous and he even became David’s best friend, not just because he beat Goliath, but because God had chosen David to be the next king of Israel.

Right to the end, their friendship stood firm against everything, and they were loyal to each other in their friendship, blessed by God.

By following her mother-in-law to the country belonging to God’s people, Ruth made the best choice, just like Jonathan when he became David’s friend.

You too can choose your friends wisely, and listen to God’s advice And your heart will be filled with joy and peace.