There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

“You’re his best friend. That’s why.”

I looked at my curly-headed son, a little confused, and asked him how so…this response was what he exclaimed: “Well, duh! Because you are mine!”

But how could I be? I was his mom. I technically wasn’t supposed to be in the friend category. Plus…dude, you are 11. I can’t be friends with an 11 year old.

Until he said this: “You know, because I can tell you my worries, and they don’t seem so big. I can tell you secrets, and I know you won’t share them. And you love me, even when I am mad.”

And isn’t that what we all want from our friends?

The unfortunate reality is that too many lonely people are settling for those who don’t do any of the things my little mentioned.

They hang onto people who expose their secrets. Who constantly leave them in a state of worry. Who won’t forgive them for the things they do when they are angry. Who make them feel inadequate, unloved, and unwelcome.

Yet, they continue to call them “best friend.” Or sometimes even “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Simply because they NEED someone. Anyone. Even if it is someone who makes them feel lousy.

While I know my son is well aware of the limits and boundaries I have set as a momma, I am honored he feels I am his trusted, loving, and accepting best friend.

That he sees qualities in me that he knows others see as well.

And as he navigates his own friendships and (well into the future) relationships later on, I pray he remembers his first best friend.