Thursday, July 25, 2013

America, the Mission Field [My Friends' Kids]

I'm back with more of that local-context mission field stuff. Sounds so fancy, but it's not. 
We're having some new friends we met at a party over for a barbecue. They're bringing their kids. Three of them: two girls and a boy. All three under five. And, for the first time I'm thrilled and in no way nervous. What's different this time? (Since all our friends have kids who go out to dinner with us, who come over and play, who are almost always present) 

This time I think of the way those kids will see me be a friend to their parents. And I want to be someone they love as their buddy and as dear friends of their beloved mom and dad. I long for those relationships to illustrate God's goodness and grace to their children. I wish to be a presence in life's messiness so their kids know that friend's do do messiness together. I desire for their young hearts to know that sure a best friend is nice, but a true friend is better. 

There's been missionaries in my life in the form of friends to my parents. Friends who've shaped what I look for in my own. They come in different shapes and forms and times, but they fall into a few groups. 

Some are the fun times. They're always there for the fun. And they are fun. You know that no moment will fall short of excitement with them around. Others are the truth speakers. They deliver God's word directly into my family's lives. Into my parents and indirectly into all of us. Still more: the excuse makers. They've been around a really long time, but they're not truly engaged. Instead there's excuses about how busy, hard, tiring their life is and why that makes it impossible to be friends. And the dark clouds who always have a harsh word to say, a hard time to suffer through, a frown on their face. Then, there's the tried and true. They are our "aunts" and "uncles". Not by blood or marriage, but by choice and by love. They're the ones visiting, checking in, praying regardless of the way life looks. 

Jesus had a heart for children. So much so, he talked about them often. 
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14

I want to bring them and not to hinder them. In order to do this, I support, embrace, love, encourage, befriend their parents who have been entrusted to raise God-loving children. In filling a mommy and daddy, I'm indirectly filling their babe. Oh, what an honor. 

My prayer is to be one that can be called tried and true. Who can illustrate the depth of friendship, the immeasurable value of dearness, and the rampant rewards of loving one another. 

What are you showing your friends' kids? 
Can you feel the little nudge that Christ is giving you to invest in the little children? 


  1. I think this was a really interesting idea, and I'm glad you shared it. I also think it's important to have strong friendships to model for my future kids what a good friendship is. So important.

    Great message!

  2. Wise beyond your years! You will be "that friend and mentor" in many, many sweet children's lives. Blessings for all who are lucky enough to know you. You are so smart Amber Minegar!!


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