As an official senior citizen, I sometimes feel as though I have been plopped down in some parallel universe. Gone are the days of Tang Instant Breakfast Drink, ice cream cups with wooden spoons, library cards, and Mercurochrome. When I was a child, internet, social media, and video games were non-existent; entertainment consisted of riding a bike, falling out of a tree, or walking to Rocco’s Store for penny candy or Popsicles. Televisions had on and off switches, and phones came complete with a cord. My influences were limited to a few neighborhood friends, my teachers, my older sister, and most importantly, my mom. I watched this young widow brave adversity, suffer loss, and yet maintain her compassion, cheerfulness, integrity, and ethics. I wanted to be her when I grew up…just like Mommy.
What influences affect the lives of your children the most: media, school, friends, siblings, church, or is it YOU? How would you rate those influences in order of importance? As I read through the history of the kings of Judah and Israel, one phrase repeats itself with amazing regularity, “And he walked in the ways of his father.” In some cases, that was a good thing, as with King Jehoshaphat who “walked in the ways of Asa his father, he turned not aside form it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD.” Unfortunately, the reverse was much more common, as we see in the life of wicked King Amon who “walked in all the ways that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them.” Two influences, two diametrically opposed outcomes.
Parents, what influences impact your children? Are you the most influential guide in their young lives, or has something else crowded you out of the top spot? As we see in the lives of those kings, many of their offspring patterned their spiritual behavior and moral compass after Dad. Do not pass the responsibility of spiritual instruction on to others, morally cultivate those young ones carefully, leading constantly by the power and wisdom of the Spirit of God.
A multitude of evil influences are clamoring to control the minds, hearts, and souls of our children, screen those influences carefully and make the hard decisions if necessary. Don’t allow a phone, a social media page, or a questionable friend take your place in the life of your child. Train up that precious soul in the “way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Lord, help us to carefully screen the influences that we allow in our children’s lives.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3040-62bbefde6647d' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3040&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3040-62bbefde6647d' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3040-62bbefde6647d' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>