Protect the Influences
There is the saying Garbage in, Garbage out, or What goes in comes out… both these sayings are a very valid warning to families. We need to watch the things that influence our children – mind you we ourselves are not immune to influence so we need to guard ourselves as well.
Media has a strong influence in changing people’s beliefs and beliefs direct actions. Though it is hard work, we can find books, movies and blogs that build up and encourage our children in the beliefs and virtues that we hold to.
Friends are an important part of any person’s life – we all like to have a friend. I Corinthians 15:33 says, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” We need to be aware of our kid’s friends, what they are like, what they believe and how they influence our children. If we surround our children with positive role models we create positive peer pressure which will encourage, support and even direct our kids at times.
If we want our children to speak kindly, love their siblings, serve others, love God and his people, be courteous, respect property and work hard etc then we need to surround them with role models who have the same values. We cannot fill our children’s imaginations and minds with people (either real or fiction) who fight with their siblings, disrespect their parents and do anything to get out of chores and not expect to see the same sort of behaviour happening in our lounge rooms.
When I consider the messages that are around us today three of the loudest are:
- Individualism – The message says that you don’t need anyone, look after yourself first, and do what you want to do. One expression of this is the ipod – we listen to what we want when we want, by ourselves. God’s message says we need others, we need to be involved with others and we need to care for others before ourselves.
- Success – The message says that money and all it can buy is success. What you look like and who your friends are also determine your success. We see this in advertising – and it targets every age group. It is very external. God’s message says that it is about the heart, about our relationship with God and others.
- It’s all about fun – The message says that you can go through life having fun; the world owes you. One example is seen by young adults who have yet to move into the responsibilities of adulthood. Or by the high levels of entertainment available. God’s message says that there is a balance in life, days to work, days to rest. That we need to mature and leave childish things behind.
I saw an acronym online a few years back and it is something we need to use as a guide in our decision making but also teach our children so they too can have a guide within their heart: THRPLE
Think on these things…Philippians 4:8