Influence is something that takes place in all of us. Leaving our impressions on others and being impressed upon is an exchange that takes place continuously throughout our lives. It’s impossible to exist without our good or bad influences playing a role in the lives of those around us.
Influence in a Perfect World
In a perfect world, the footprint left by Jesus when He walked the earth would have resonated down through the generations and His influence would have affected all those who came after Him, affecting generation after generation.
In the short period of time we have in our children’s lives, we as parents have the opportunity to write on the tablets of their hearts things that will remain forever. This fact is awesome, yet on the other hand it can be frightening because of our imperfections.
In a perfect world, Christians would be duplicates of Him in everything we do and say. In a perfect world, spreading the good Word of God would perpetually take place as an unbroken chain until Jesus returns.
The Breakdown of Influence: The World we live in is Far From Perfect
The problem lies in the fact that we don’t live in a perfect world. Neither are we who are His disciples perfect. We are imperfect concerning our understanding of the scriptures. We live in an imperfect world, in imperfect surroundings, in imperfect bodies, that spew imperfect words and actions stemming from our imperfect thoughts.
As we toss all of our imperfections before the world, we have other imperfect people attempting to receive our words, actions and deeds, imperfectly applying their interpretations to what they see and hear from us. In this world of imperfection it’s a wonder anything gets conveyed correctly.
Taking Advantage of the Small Window of Time we have to Influence our Children
We are truly blessed to live in a country where the Word of God flows so freely. The verse, “He who seeks shall find” as it pertains to seeking God, the originator of life could not be more applicable than to conditions in the US right now. We have a multitude of churches to choose from, Christian media resources at our disposal, and the written Word available to the vast majority of us.
Given the fact that we have abundant resources available to us, what we are lacking (and what our children are lacking) is living examples of Christ in the home. Because of our imperfections, I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that we can be living examples of the nature of God for our children.
I marvel at how much influence we have in our children’s lives. It’s funny to catch them saying something they have heard us say, or doing something they have seen us do. For a very small period of time in their lives they are as fresh cement, waiting to be imprinted and influenced by us.
In this short period of time we have in our children’s lives, we as parents have the opportunity to write on the tablets of their hearts things that will remain forever. This fact is awesome, yet on the other hand it can be frightening because of our imperfections. None of us want to inadvertently impact or influence our children’s lives in a negative way.
God Trusts us to provide a Positive Influence
It takes a lot of trust to parent correctly. Our kids don’t come with instruction manuals. I trust God that as I seek Him to properly raise our children that I give an accurate rendering of His nature to them in all aspects of life.
My daily prayer is that people (including those within my own household) would see Jesus in my words, in my actions and in my deeds. I pray that whenever I walk into a room, people would have to stop and take notice, not because of me but because of His anointing that’s working in, on, around and through me. I pray that every word, every action and every deed glorify Him and influence those around me to follow me as I follow Him.
This has been my ongoing daily prayer for about 33 years. In all of that time I haven’t had a perfect day of influence yet. In my life of imperfection, I trust God that my bad will be minimized and that He can use it to somehow teach and train not only me, but those who witness my mess ups, while magnifying the good and influencing those around me for His glory.
My job as a parent is to remain teachable and trainable and to take advantage of the small window of opportunity that I have when my kids study me and mimic the God they see in me.