Friend Request [Guest Post by Lauren Crews]
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to writer, speaker, and Bible teacher Lauren Crews! With a Master's of Divinity, Lauren's heart is to encourage her sisters in Christ to become women of strength. She is one of those women who exudes the joy of the Lord, and I hope you'll be encouraged by her words as she discusses true friendship in today's online world.
Friend Request: Learning to Pursue Jesus and Real Friendship in a Digital World
by: Margot E. Kennedy and Allison C. Kennedy
“What’s a real friend, anyway? The purpose of this book is to help teens 13-15 discover what real friendship is. With Jesus as the model of a perfect friend, you’ll watch a somewhat fussy image of friendship come into focus with 13 qualities that highlight the profile of a real friend.”
I shared Friend Request with my daughter who is sixteen. To prevent my influence, I didn’t discuss the book with her. I merely asked her to look at it and the table of content to see if the topics were something she would consider reading with her friends. She took her time and mentioned she would like to read the chapters which detail how a real friend respects you and is a good influence, and the chapter describing a trustworthy friend. I didn’t press her for details, but as she walked away, I couldn’t help but wonder if, in her subtle way, my teenager had shared with me areas with which she was struggling – areas all teenagers struggle with.
I’m a mom, and I teach 8th grade. My “kids” fall right into the age group Friend Request is targeting. My classroom has been a source of education – for me. I often overhear my students talking about social media and cyber bullying. They are quick to share their profile names to gain more followers. They wrap their self-worth around how many likes they collect on a photo. A photo they snapped forty-eight times before declaring it perfect – after all the edits and filters. They are quick to tell you they have 800 friends but are hard-pressed to tell you a personal detail about any of them.
As a resource for small groups, Sunday school, and Bible study, the material applies to boys and girls. Each of the thirteen chapters begins with a real-life illustration of a topic, how Jesus represents the topic, then provides reader application. Some chapters include a short reader profile assessments which allow the reader to evaluate how they measure up to the topic. Teens can easily use Friend Request as a daily devotion then meet together to share what they have learned.
The topics covered are respect, trustworthiness, honesty, influence, support, secrets, companionship, values, loyalty, compassion and real love.
Proverbs 18:24 tells us, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (NASB).” These are wise words which bear repeating in today’s culture. Friend Request is timely. It lovingly offers Biblical truths to be held as a standard against which teens can evaluate their edited and filtered social media friends and learn who their true friends are, and how Christ is their greatest friend.
By: Lauren Crews, MDiv.
Lauren is an 8th grade public school teacher by day and an aspiring author in her free time. She lives in north-east Florida with her husband and two chocolate labs. She is mom of three fantastic young adults and just welcomed a daughter-in-love to the Crews crew. She is represented by Credo Communications and working toward the publication of her book, The Strength of a Woman: Reclaiming the Proverbs 31 Woman.