Parents and Influence

Andrew and I give out Bicycles at the Jasper Christmas Parade 2011

Parents, future parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents allow me to be quite candid with you.  You have influence over the children in your life.  I know, I know, we think we have lost influence to TV, the internet, social media, video games, and their peers.  Yet I keep reading reports and seeing evidence that the number one influence in a child’s (including teens) life is still their parents.

Our influence includes what we teach and what we model.  Consider the nephew of Abraham – Lot.

Lot was the father of two girls.  Lot settled in the land of the plains and set up house keeping near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  This region and these cities had a  very perverted life-style (read Genesis 19).  God decided to destroy them but first allowed Lot and his family to leave.

But something happened to Lot’s family while they were in these cities.  Although they may not have participated in all the sins of that city, and although three of them escaped physically, they did not escape emotionally and spiritually unscathed.

While still in-town, Lot offered his virgin daughters to the men of the city who wanted to have sexual relations with the men who came to retrieve Lot and his family.  Later after their escape, Lot’s daughters each in turn inebriated  their father  and committed incest with him.

“Wait!  That is not Lot’s influence, that is the influence of Sodom and Gomorrah!” Are you sure?  What if Lot had not offered his daughters?  What if Lot had not pitched his tent toward Sodom?  What if Lot had taught his family more about God? What if Lot did not allow his daughters to associate so closely with the men of Sodom, they were you might remember engaged to men who decided to stay in Sodom and not escape with their fiances.

Lot’s negative influence was at least two-fold.

  1. He placed his family near sinful influences that he did not appear to combat.
  2. He offered his daughters to be used.

Parents, here is my question for us.  Are we influencing our children to be like a sinful world by 1) allowing them to associate (participate) too closely to sin, 2) not modeling proper behavior ourselves, and 3) by not providing alternatives that bring them closer to God and His people?

Just something to think about this morning.

– Scott

6 thoughts on “Parents and Influence

  1. AMEN!!!!!!!!! Our greatest failing as a God’s people is not being mindful of this one thing! Thanks Scott for your’s and Amy’s examples to your son and to all of us too! 🙂

  2. Great thoughts in the article. I do have a question about the conclusion of Lot not modeling the right example. I raise this question based on 2 Peter 2:6-8 where Peter says that he was tormented by their conduct but yet he still calls him righteous. I throughly enjoy all the content on your site and keep up the great work.

    • I read through that a couple of times before replying. I do not think I said Lot was unrighteous. I think Lot at the very least made errors in judgement by choosing to pitch his tent near Sodom and evidently having a house in the city where the influences of the city would be stronger. His errors in judgement resulted in a poor influence concerning choices.

      A second thing enters my thoughts. God does impute (credit, attribute) righteousness to those who live by faith (this is what we call Grace). Lot was not perfect, neither was Abraham, but could the reference in 2Pe 2:6-8 of Lot’s righteousness have to do with God accounting Lot’s faith (providing housing for the men, offering misguided protection, following God’s instruction to leave, follow God as best he could – the men were looking for righteous people in S&G – etc.) I am thinking off the cuff with this, but this seems credible as I type it. What do you (an others) think?

      • I was just curious as to how you would include 2 Peter 2 into this discussion. You did not call Lot unrighteous or say anthing that contradicted 2 Peter. And I totally agree with your conclusions about the error in his judgments. Part of the reason I bring this up is that usually when I hear or read people talk about Lot it is in a negative almost condemning manner, not saying you did, and I always stop and think about how Peter’s statements about Lot fit into their discussion and that’s simply what I was doing here.

        As for your second thought, I agree that part of that faith of Lot might have been what he did in the Genesis account of what you listed, but to me in 2 Peter it seems like his righteousness was also before that because he lived among them day after day with a tormented soul in verse 8. But again like you said, he was not perfect and this led to some bad choices. And as your article mentioned and I have thought myself, why didn’t he move from S&G if it was such a bad place that tormented his soul?

        Thanks again for your reply and again I was just curious as to your take on 2 Peter 2 in discussing Lot.

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