How many parents count the job of rearing children a serious job? We may often get so busy living that we fail our children. Perhaps we feel that we have plenty of time, and before long we must do a better job. But parents, our children do not wait for us to get ready to begin. In fact, every week their lives undergo changes as they absorb the environment around them. They may not know all the answers about life, but they are going to come up with some kind of answer.
For example, a little girl wrote these words in an essay: “People are made up of girls and boys, also men and women. Boys are no good at all until they grow up and get married. Men who don’t get married are no good either. Boys are an awful bother. They want everything they see except soap. My Ma is a woman and my Pa is a man. A woman is a grown-up girl with children. My Pa is such a nice man that I think he must have been a girl when he was a boy.” —Selected
Even though this little girl was somewhat confused, she still had formed her own conclusions. Some parents ignore this important principle by saying, “Don’t worry, nature will take care of them. They will overcome the wrong ideas formed in their lives.”
Some have even gone so far as to say, “We will not influence our children in making choices and decisions in matters of religion.” This is a false attitude, because if parents do not influence their children, they should know that the TV will! Their schoolmates will! Their daily diet of ads and commercials will! The influence of the devil and sin will!
We use our influence over all other things in our lives, then why should we ignore our precious children with eternal souls? Remember, when we bring children into the world, we place ourselves in a position of influence and responsibility. Neither does our job stop just because our children grow eventually into adulthood. No, they do not need us in the way they did when they were infants and little children, but they still need our influence. For as long as we live, and even when we are gone, our good influence should live on.
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Rev. 14:13).
One time a preacher said to a little boy, “Sonny boy, who made you?” “To tell you the truth,” the little boy replied, “I ain’t done yet.”
Yes, we influence our children and grandchildren as long as we live! Then they pass the same influence on to future generations!
Therefore, let all of us as parents and grandparents make every effort to train and influence our precious ones for the Lord. In the words of Paul:
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
Remember! The child you save may be your own. —BBBristow