Opinion

Children influence others

“Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.” – 2 Kings 11:21

A public school teacher related to me that one of her students brought her a brochure that stated, “Have you noticed that the children from our faith are better behaved than the other students?”  The teacher said that she began to notice that what it said was true.  Even though the students had gained permission to not say the Pledge of Allegiance, in all other ways they were very obedient and had exemplary behavior.

During my first year of teaching, I had a student who always wore a pin that said, “Jesus Saves”.  This student was always causing trouble and daring me to discipline him.

The children in the two examples each influenced their teachers.  They also influenced others around them who could not help but notice their actions.  There is no doubt that children influence those around them.  It is our job, as parents, teachers, and grandparents, to do our best to help children learn to influence others for good.

When children are taught at home and church to radiate the love of Christ, they will influence others positively.  Too often, adults think of children as not being able to accomplish positive results for our Lord.  I cannot recall any place in the Bible that makes exceptions according to age for rules of behavior.  From birth, children need to be taught right from wrong.  Well-behaved children with boundaries are happier children.  Bad habits formed as a child come back to cause trouble in the future. 

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On Oct. 4, children have an opportunity to exercise their influence on others.  Focus on the Family is sponsoring, “Take Your Bible to School Day.” It would be a good idea for parents to discuss this opportunity with their children. If many children did this, it would do much to help get our Bible back in many schools.  I remember how sad our granddaughter was when in kindergarten she took her Bible to school, and the teacher told her not to bring it back because it was not allowed. If many children brought Bibles, the schools would need to reconsider their policy.

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Along with taking a Bible to school, children should be told to be on their best behavior. After all, they don’t want to be like the student who wore the “Jesus Saves” pin and acted in a way that was not Christlike. 

Just carrying a Bible is certainly not as effective as having the good actions to go with it. 

All of God’s laws are just as certain as the law of gravity.  When children are allowed to break His laws, consequences are certain, and the children have negative influence on those around them. Love for our children should motivate us help them be a positive influence on those with whom they come in contact.  Kids having good, clean, fun is acceptable, but breaking God’s instructions is not at any age.  



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