By: Pastor Jeff
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
I knew this day was coming, but I never thought it would be so soon.
A couple months ago, my six-year-old, Angela, took a class field trip to the zoo. When they visited the gift shop, one of Angela's friends started to pressure her to steal a toy. Thankfully, my daughter promptly informed her friend stealing was wrong and she wasn't going to do it.
Later that afternoon, when Angela told me what happened, feelings of both relief and worry washed over me. I was grateful she hadn't stolen anything, but I worried about the peer pressure I knew was coming in the years ahead. She had won the battle, but the war was just beginning.
There's no shortage of stories about kids who've crossed a line they can't uncross, accrued a debt they'll spend years repaying, or indulged in a momentary pleasure that will shadow them for the rest of their lives. That's why it's so important for our kids to choose their friends wisely.
Who your kids spend time with determines who they will become. Surrounding your kids with godly people will increase the likelihood of your kids becoming Christ-like.
If you want your children to become holy people, you need to surround them with godly people.
Today's verse instructs us to guard our hearts. However, most effective guards don't work alone; they enlist other guards to help them. If you want to shield your child's heart effectively, you need to recruit other guards to come alongside you and your family.
Spend time with family and friends who take their relationship with Jesus seriously. Get involved at a church with a great children's program and excellent student ministries. Ask ministry leaders to invest in and mentor your kids.
Monitor what your kids read, watch and listen to. Make sure their books, movies and music are pointing them toward Jesus, not away from Him. Your local Christian bookstore is full of books written by believers and films containing hope-filled messages. Christian music is another great source of inspiration and encouragement.
Unfortunately, peer pressure is a fact of life. You can't always protect your kids from it, but you can prepare them for it. Remember, if you want your children to become godly people, start surrounding them with people, places and things that point them to Jesus.
Talk It Over:
1. How would you rate the following influences in your children's lives: family, friends, community, school and media?
2. What can you do to increase the number of godly influences in your children's lives?