Good and bad examples have been shaping tools for time and memoriam. Good examples for our children can influence them to make better decisions and value that which is meaningful. God will line up for us helpers in our parenting efforts.
How about the adults in our lives? There is something to be said for caring about pleasing others with our thoughts, actions and deeds. An emotional attachment to a grandparent, other family member or adults in our church family can positively influence our children to make better choices.
Peer influence doesn’t have the same affect. Adults in our lives are natural “helpers” for us. These would be adults that parent’s trust and want their child to respect and revere. It is those people in their lives that they might not want to disappoint and thus affecting their behavior.
“Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”Galatians 6:8-9 (NLT)
The “right” thing is not always the most popular among their peers. Mark Twain says, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
Our children benefit from cheerleaders among responsible adults who genuinely care for their well-being. A Biblical example for our children can be found in the book of Daniel. He was a young man probably between 14 and 18 years of age who was thrown into the world and was given every opportunity to benefit from worldly lusts. Because of the influences of those who had raised him, he chose rather to honor the Lord. His faithfulness put him in a position to be used by God in a mighty way.
(Daniel’s opportunity) Daniel 1:4 (NLT): “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon.”
(Daniel’s determination) Daniel 1:8 (NLT): “But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.
(Daniels reward) Daniel 1:15-17 (NLT): “At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.”
Make much of good examples so that our children will choose to be good examples.