2.07.18

Guardrails Part 3

Healthy Friendships

Friends are an amazing force in our lives. For some of us our greatest memories and triumphs have happened with our friends alongside us.  On the other hand, some of our worst shortcomings and poorest decisions have been made because of the power we give to those we call "friends".  As your students process the idea of guardrails within their relationships, keep in mind that for some of them, their loyalty towards friends runs really deep.  There may be a need to be ablaze between compassion toward friends and wisdom in their own personal decisions.  (Be aware of allowing small group time to to become a gossip or verbal bashing sesh. The goal is to get your students to establish some guardrails not to prove why they need them.  We begin with the assumption that everyone needs guardrails in their relationships, no matter the age.)

Bottom Line:  Your friends will determine the direction and quality of your life. 

Proverbs 13:20

  1. SINCE OUR DISCUSSION LAST WEEK, HAVE YOU TRIED TO SET UP ANY PERSONAL GUARDRAILS IN YOUR LIFE?  IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW HAS IT GONE TRYING TO KEEP THEM?
  2. CAN YOU THINK OF CERTAIN PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO OTHER PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED YOU SPENDING TIME WITH?  MAY YOUR PARENTS ARE CONCERNED OR OTHER FRIENDS OF YOURS?  WITHOUT NAMING THEM, WHY DO YOUT HINK OTHERS ARE CONCERNED?
  3. "ACCEPTANCE LEADS TO INFLUENCE".  HAVE YOU FOUND THIS TO BE TRUE IN YOUR LIFE?  HAVE YOU HAD FRIENDSHIPS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOU BECAUSE YOU FELT OPEN AND ACCEPTED, WHETHER POSITIVELY OR NEGATIVELY?
  4. THINK ON A SPECIFIC TIME THAT YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING YOU REGRET.  WERE YOU ALONE OR WERE YOU WITH FRIENDS? IF YOU WERE ALONE, DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN SOMEHTING INTRODUCED BY YOUR FRIENDS?
  5. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT LIFE IS CONNECTED? THAT WHAT YOU TO TODAY WILL INFLUENCE WHAT YOU BECOME TOMORROW? HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PRINCIPLE PLAY OUT IN YOUR LIFE OR IN THE LIVES OF OLDER SIBLINGS, FRIENDS, OR RELATIVES?
  6. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HARMED BY THE OUTCOME OF SOMEONE ELSE'S FOOLISH BEHAVIOR?  HOW DID IT IMPACT YOU?
  7. DID ANY OF TODAY'S VIDEO SOUND A BIT HARSH TO YOU? DID YOU REACT BY THINKING, " I LOVE MY FRIENDS AND I WILL BE THERE FOR THEM NO MATTER WHAT, EVEN IF IT HURTS ME?"  WHY MIGHT THIS BE A DANGEROUS WAY OF THINKING?
  8. CAN YOU COME UP WIHT THE DEFINITIONS OF "COMPASSION" AND "WISDOM"?  WHAT IS THE DIFFENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?  WHRE IS THE PLACE FOR THESE TWO THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR FRIENDS AND WHO YOU ALLOW TO INFLUENCE YOU? (THIS IS TRICKY CONCEPT, EVEN FOR ADULTS. THERE ISN'T NECESSARILY A FORMULA FOR HOW IT SHOULD LOOK.  THE KEY IS TO GET STUDENTS TO UNDERSTAND THAT TO HAVE COMPASSION AND TO BE AVAILABLE TO FRIENDS WHO NEED YOU IS A GOOD THING, BUT THEY MUST BE CAREFUL WHO THEY ALLOW TO INFLUENCE THEM.  THIS IS A TENSION THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY, AND THEY WILL SPEND THEIR WHOLE LIVES TRYING TO MANAGE IT. 
  9. AS A GROUP BRAINSTORM SOME GUARDRAILS THAT WILL HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR FRIENDSHIPS.
joey todd