Pastor Mark revealed a shocking statistic during this morning's sermon.
70% (SEVENTY PERCENT!) of the teenage population said that their parents are the most influential people in their lives. SEVENTY PERCENT!
I would have bet my next paycheck that the teenage population would have answered, "peers" or "media" as the most influential people in their lives, wouldn't have you?
I looked over at my three boys, and my heart ached. The first thought that went through my head was my middle son, nine years old, sitting next to me in the car in May of last year..."mommy, I like our family now. I like you better this way...I like our church and the music we listen to. I like that you and daddy are together."
What sort of influence was I to my children before I accepted Christ? What was I teaching to my children by sleeping in on Sundays...never darkening the door at a church. What did my children think a marriage was...while I was out with people ten years my junior, not married, no children...leaving my husband at home to care for our children, our home and our life? Never was a Bible opened in our home. Never was a prayer recited at our table...in fact, we never ate as a family. What kind of example was I setting?
And then another thought occurred to me...what sort of influence was I for my children when they saw Christ take a hold of me? Did my children see the change that took place? Yes...they see Christ in me every single day. Now my three boys see me get out of bed on Sunday mornings, eager to walk through the door of the church we adore! My three boys see me raise my hands during worship as I sing "thank you" to my Father. My three boys watch me as I open my Bible and write down some of my favorite verses, memorizing them to use at a time I might need extra strength. My three boys watch as my husband and I love one another more than we have loved one another before..they watch us laugh...they watch us grow together spiritually.
My three boys see me stumble...but they also watch me take a hold of Christ's hand and use Him to help me stand back up. My three boys are watching as I walk this Faith journey...and that is all I could ask for.
"Where will our country find leaders with integrity, courage, strength—all the family values—in ten, twenty, or thirty years? The answer is that you are teaching them, loving them, and raising them right now."