Mar 31

Profound Influence

2009 at 5:41 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Teenagers

The second great deal for moms of teenagers is: be a godly example.

Three wise authors weigh in:

“The example of parents, for good or ill, is an influence more profound than can be measured,” observes author Elisabeth Elliot.

Your children “will seldom learn habits which they see you despise, or walk in paths in which you do not walk yourself,” warns J.C. Ryle. “[She] that preaches to [her] children what [she] does not practice, is working a work that never goes forward.”

Paul Tripp agrees that if we talk about Christ’s love and the Bible but live selfish, angry, materialistic lives, then we are saying with our example that God’s truth is only a façade. “Our teenagers will tend to dismiss or despise the very Gospel we say is of paramount importance,” he writes. “They will tend to reject the God we have so poorly represented, and they too, will end up serving the idols of the surrounding culture.”

Everything we teach our children will stand or fall by our example. Therefore our example must precede our instruction, less our instruction be in vain.

So ask yourself: What does my example say to my teenagers about the truth of God’s Word?  Am I walking in paths where I want my children to follow?

While a poor example will dishonor the gospel, the godly example of a mother is among the most profound forces in human history.

We read in the Bible of the mother-daughter pair Lois and Eunice, who shaped the life of Timothy. In a survey of church history we are introduced to the influential mothers of great Christian leaders such as Augustine, Charles Spurgeon, and John and Charles Wesley—men whose love for the gospel resulted in thousands coming to know Christ.

The fruit of a mother’s godly example is incalculable. But if the responsibility feels overwhelming at times, you are not alone. Hope for imperfect mothers tomorrow.