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Thursday, June 21, 2018 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Of Greater Influence

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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 children.
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.

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