Leading Our Own

The Years are Short but the Influence is Strong
October 19, 2018

A wise person once said that when raising children, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Many parents can agree with this statement. With the daily demands of a hectic work day and endless to-do lists, the days can often feel eternal. However, the key in this phrase is in the last part, "the years are short." The reality is that the years when we most influence our children are indeed not very long. Research indicates that the most important years in a child’s development are from birth to age three. Clearly, we influence our children well beyond the age of three, but there is an important lesson here. When our children are in our care, we must take this opportunity and dedicate ourselves to teaching them about God's love and His promise of salvation. Teaching them does not have to be something that will overwhelm us or will extend the to-do list, but it does involve the way we carry out our daily lives.

Our children are watching us every moment. Although they come to this world with different personalities, our children learn everything from us, including how they should relate to the world. We still remember how as a toddler my daughter used to put on my wife’s high heel shoes. Her tiny feet would barely fill the front of the shoes, but that did not stop her from walking around the house trying to act and walk like her. Even today, as a grown woman, I still see my daughter doing and saying things the way we have done for years.

There is no doubt that a parent’s influence is powerful. Therefore, if our mission as Christians is to give the good news, we should start with our children first and most importantly, show them that our words are in harmony with our actions. Evangelism has many branches, but the opportunity that God gives us with our children is immense. Moreover, a home where God is present is also a very powerful witness because it demonstrates the power of God in a real way. God can use our family as a testimony to touch the hearts of those unbelievers who observe our families. For that reason, I invite you to reflect on what kind of influence you are being in your home because that is where true evangelism begins. Finally, let us not forget what Deuteronomy 11:19 tells us about God’s commands: "Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

By Lee-Roy Chacon, President