These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them
on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
whey you lie down and when you get up (Deut.6:6-7).
Parental pains and parenting problems may be perpetuated
by paranoia. Then again--maybe not. None the less, being a parent is not easy. It is a job
we first take on with no experience and little training. Many of us go into it with less
instruction than is required to take a driver's test. And we do so often simply because we
want to be a mommy or daddy--not fully realizing the implications of just such a
commitment. Not fully understanding the responsibility, trials and fears that will
accompany our love for our children. And whether we consider it being anxious or just
being concerned, most parents will readily confess that they often fear for their
Are those fears substantiated? You will have to answer that question for yourself, and
only truly answer it once you have been or are a parent. For we know that we have many
fears that are unsubstantiated, but also many that are substantiated. I watch my son climb
a tree like I once did and it makes me nervous. Is that unsubstantiated? I still don't
know the answer to that one. Nevertheless, I still get nervous and fear for his safety,
and I try to let go of him a little more each day, entrusting him into God's capable
Hands. But that's not always easy.
While parents have many fears for their children, perhaps one of the greatest fears is in
regard to how others will influence our children. Within the child's early years many of
them spend a great deal of their time with a baby sitter. It is soon thereafter that they
are enrolled in school and surrounded by more people than they have come into contact with
within the short span of their lifetime. Their teenage years are filled with trying to
find their place to fit in and peer pressure becomes a strong motivating force in their
lives. Throughout their lives, they will be exposed to beliefs, thinking and viewpoints
through their contact with others, with television, movies, music, books, with school,
church, and work. Within all of this we hope they will be levelheaded and listen to the
right influences, while turning away from the bad.
So what determines who or what becomes of greater influence? Is it a question of time? If
it were a matter of time alone we could all be doomed when considering the amount of time
that is spent in front the television set. Is it a question of quality teaching within
those teachable moments we encounter along the way? Perhaps, for a few well chosen words
at the right time can impact a person and stay with them for a lifetime. But even still,
if those words are few and far between, we will wonder, what is of the greater influence?
It is most certainly the quality and quantity coupled together, and supported by a good
parental role model who has genuine concern and love for the welfare of the child that
will be of greater influence. And as we cannot raise our children in a glass bubble, only
allowing them to be exposed to our influence, it is vital that we take advantage of our
time with them in effort to counter the worldly influences with plenty of godly influence.
It is imperative for the sake of our children, that we have them in church and spend time
with them, loving them, caring for them, and teaching them the Word of God and how to live
holy and righteous lives "in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation"
(Phil.2:15). And if time does not seem to permit, then we are going to have to carefully
weigh the possible consequences of our inability to spend time with our children, and
determine who we are going to allow to be of greater influence.