“Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible for others souls spiritually before God? For instance, if I allow any private deflection from God in my life, everyone around me suffers. We “sit together in heavenly places.” “Whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.” When once you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your crowd will suffer.”
Oswald Chambers, The Quotable Oswald Chambers.
Daily we are influenced by what takes place around us. The world is full of influences that can “brain wash” and lure us in a wrong direction. Even within Christian circles, a time will come when your child will likely be exposed to trusted individuals who make a poor choice and deeply disappoint. We live in a fallen world; we are a fallen people.
How can we help our kids not be brain washed or “conformed to the pattern of this world?” (Romans 12:2)
Purpose to be their primary influence. To influence means to have an impact, to impress, to sway or cause an effect. No one – and no thing – has greater power to influence kids than mom and dad. You are their best form of defense- and I am not referring to micro managing them. Rather I refer to the influence you exert by nature of who you are at your core. To repeat Oswald Chambers, be diligent to not allow any private deflection from God in your life!! While you will make mistakes and your parenting will be far from perfect, your children will be most influenced by a core steadfastness and love that wells up from who you are in Christ?
Your influence is a heart-to-heart transfer which is why your relationship must be a heart-to-heart connection.
Oswald Chambers stated that “the people who influence us are those who have stood unconsciously for the right thing; they are like the stars and the lilies, and the joy of God flows through them all the time.”
Stand for what is right in a culture that has lost its way in a sea of relativism. Be a star that guides them toward Christ and lilies with a life giving aroma, so that they are drawn irresistibly to the Christ they see in you.
Rather than be influenced wrongly, choose to influence rightly. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12 You can even be raised in the worst possible environment but CHOOSE to follow God. It’s up to each individual to choose.
Look at King Josiah, the youngest King ever in Judah:
Every form of wickedness was encouraged in King Josiah’s day. Yet, immediately upon becoming king at age eight, he decided to follow God. What were the outcomes of his influence? He turned a culture bent on seeking every kind of self pleasure back to a nation in which true worship to Jehovah was restored. He was clearly a godly influence in his day. King Josiah chose to “walk in the ways of David” rather than be influenced by the wicked culture around him and even in his family.
Educators and Coaches:
Christian educators and coaches hold a lot of “sway” with students and athletes. Parents entrust their children to you and likely expect them to trust and respect you as authority figures placed over them. Therefore hold to the highest of personal standards. You have a deep, deep responsibility to do so. Purpose to not allow any “selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, or spiritual density.” Be steadfast in not allowing any private deflection from God in your life. Young lives are easily impressed with the choices you make.