I have always encouraged my children to be wise in their choice of friends. That being said, I also encouraged them to be friendly to all. Too many times, I have seen people treated different or not as well due to many things beyond their control. Some of these being, but not limited to, the way they look, the type of clothes they wear, where they live, where they work, who their family is, their financial status, etc.... Some may respond, "...but that is high school behavior..." Is it really? I'm sad to report that I have been guilty at times of discriminating behavior. Ouch!
The world we live in is full of anti-discrimination rules and laws. However, it is still a very big discriminatory world. When I discriminate against someone, I have basically taken the place of God and put myself above that person. I have seen too many times where people are treated differently because they may not attend the same type of church we do, or wear the same type and/or brand of clothing, they do not raise their children the same, etc.... I think it's time we band together and say "ENOUGH!" We have all been created in God's image. When I discriminate, I am saying that God's creation is less than perfect. Yes, we are all less than perfect thus the reason Christ's blood was shed, but I have not been given the authority to be the one to judge. My husband often says, "I have had two very big revelations in my life: 1) There is only one God 2) I am not it." That basically sums it up!
This does NOT mean that I cannot encourage my children to make wise choices when it comes to choosing friends. If you ask my children what I say about the way we should relate to other people, they will tell you that Mom says, "You don't have to like them, but you have to love them." I'm SUPER happy about this, because there's some people that no matter how hard I try, I just can't like! However, I can love them. I want my children to make good choices in their friends. I also want them to befriend those who may be different. A little love can go a long way.
I am not a big advocate of having a "best" friend. I like having several close friends. I think friends should help balance you as a person. I don't want a friend who is exactly like me. I want friends who help me to be a better me. I also want to BE a good friend. The Scriptures tell us "...a man that hath friends must first show himself friendly." This will never fail to be true. This is something I have talked about with my daughter often. Girls are emotional and need emotional ties to people. I don't want her to put all of her confidence in one "friend". Guess what? People are human! The only place I want her full confidence is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only one that will NEVER let her down in her life. I want to be remembered as one that had many friends and one that showed myself friendly.
I would consider my husband to be my best friend here on earth (yes I know I said I'm not an advocate of best friends, but this is different!). He is the one that I share everything with. Not talking about him, I got thinking today about my friends. I asked myself "do I like the people I choose to spend my time with?" The answer is definitely Yes. I hope that others can say the same about me!