"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'"-1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV.
Experts say that when parents see negative changes in their teenager's behavior coupled with a new circle of friends coming at the house that this might be a warning sign. The implication is there is often a relationship between the behavior and the new company the child is keeping.
We do tend to attach to our own kind. I know that when I was young the people I loved hanging out with were those whom I shared a lot in common with. I loved partying and playing basketball, for instance. As I found others who liked the same I gravitated toward them. Similarly, I have a teenaged son who loves football. As you might expect, his friends he spends the most time with are also football fanatics.
But that strong bond has the potential to take off in other and undesirable directions because in many ways a relationship is a packaged deal. We might like being with someone because of similar interests, but there might be other things about the person we don't care for, or even regard as self-destructive. At least two potential problems exist: 1) we are more apt to be influenced-good or bad-by those whom we have grown to love or like and trust, and 2) limiting the boundaries of a relationship to what we might view as the positive side of the individual is difficult if not impossible in the dynamics of regular interaction.
Oftentimes, parents think all they have to do to safeguard their children from bad influences is to teach them good moral values so they will know right from wrong. And even if they were to make unwise choices about the company they keep, they will still be Ok. We might also apply similar thinking to our own personal lives. This logic is far from the truth. Keeping the wrong company can and will affect us-period.
Dear Lord, thank You for the blessing of relationships. I can see one's outward appearance, but You are the one who sees the heart. Give me wisdom in choosing friends and mates who will be an asset to my life....Amen.