Well for those of you who were following the Parenting Series here is the next Obstacle...if you have lost track of where we were you can go to the last post on June 28 and reread the first obstacle to character training, the flesh. Sorry for the delay but I think I am back on track. Thanks for your patience.
I Corinthians 15:33- Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Many times we are naive as parents as to how impressionable our children really are. In not embracing this truth we often place them in risky environments. I have said on many occasions that parents seem to put their children in environments that they would not put themselves in because of the negative impact it may have. For example: Spending unlimited time with a peer who has negative behavior. We understand as adults how we are influenced by negativity but for some reason we often think our children are immune to it.
Proverbs 22:24-25 – Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, 25 lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.
One of our children in particular seemed to be easily influenced—very impressionable. It never failed, when she would spend time in social settings she would return with behavioral changes. Don’t get me wrong, I know we are all influenced by one another in some capacity or another but this was dramatic. It was so obvious that her attitude, body language, accent, and words would all take on the appearance of whomever she had been with. It was as though the other child had come home with us instead of our own daughter. I do believe that although all are susceptible to this, some children tend to be more vulnerable than others. This could work out well for you if your child is being influenced in a positive way but not well at all when the influence is contrary to what you are training. This is why it is so important to be involved in our children’s lives. Know who they are with and what that child’s tendencies are so that you will know how to counteract it.
Know the parents of the children your kids are involved with, whether or not they adhere to similar philosophies as you do. If we are going to parent Biblically, we have to accept stewardship over what influences our children. Be willing to accept, no matter the cost, that some influences just aren’t good for your particular child and make the adjustments necessary. For Tim and I adhering to this philosophy was a priority and quite costly but also rewarding later in life as the fruit remained.
John 16:33– In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
A cultural battle is inevitable for those who follow Christ. In this passage Jesus prepared His disciples for what they would face in this world and how they were to deal with it. We must do the same for our children.
Here are a couple of practical ways to address this issue:
Extended family and friends: Not every family will have the same ideals and standards in every area. You and your spouse are responsible to clarify your standards in specific areas for your extended family and friends. Allow others the freedom to live according to their convictions or preferences without judging them and be free to live your own without worrying about whether you will offend. Others will not be the ones to give account for your stewardship.
Media: A philosophy struggle takes place in this arena perhaps more than any other. Media has more influence over our children today than at any other time in history (I will do a separate post on the affects of media on our children). Most parents are overwhelmed with trying to keep up with their children and the influence media has on them. Some questions we need to ask ourselves in regard to what our children are exposed to are: How is this activity going to affect his /her attitude toward God? Is this a positive influence on my child? How does it glorify God or promote honor toward Him?A common mistake many parents make is having the philosophy that says “Well, I turned out all right even though I had some bad influences and made mistakes.”
Remember, you are not the standard, God and His Word are.
Proverbs 16:25- There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Child training involves absolutes. There must be concrete boundaries in the life of a child. Absolutes bring a sense of security. Limits provide protection and freedom for children. They simply say “I love you more than I love myself and that’s why I will sacrifice whatever necessary to protect you and guide you.”
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!