What is the greatest influence in a child’s life? Is it his school friends, the books he reads, movies he sees, a favorite school teacher? As great as these influences are, they do not compare with the influence of his mother. The mother’s influence is even greater upon children than the father’s influence. Why this is true, I do not know. It may be because of the time she has to spend with them compared to the time the father has to spend. This we know that God intended (Titus 2:3-5).
Her influence is so great upon her children; it even decides to some extent the father’s influence upon them, and how much respect and honor they have for him. What a tremendous responsibility mothers have! Christian counselors say that there is a distinct connection, how children grow up feeling about their earthly father and how they feel about their Heavenly Father. I know this was true in my life, growing up and even now.
There was a Christian counselor discussing a woman’s problems with her and he asked about her relationship with her father as she was growing up. She replied that he was a good father to them but that he was always gone away on business and spent very little time with them. She went on describing him and then the counselor asked her how she felt about God. She told him that she believed there was a God but that He seemed so distant.
Even the most dedicated Christian father has enough small faults that if the mother isn’t careful, she can make him look like a ‘Rat’ in the eyes of his children. Children need so desperately to have a daddy they can respect and look up to, in order to grow up respecting and honoring God. Even if the daddy is not a Christian while his children are small, the mother has the power to cause her husband’s good qualities or his bad ones to influence their children. He may later in life obey the gospel, but the damage will have already been done and no amount of regret can erase it. What a tragedy!
By this I do not mean that she teaches them that everything Daddy does is right, but she does need to teach them to have a great respect and reverence for him. Minimize his faults (for we all have them) and build up his many good points. Teach your little ones to honor their daddy and then…when and as they grow up, they will know how to reverence and honor their Heavenly Father. ©Edna L. Ingram, Christian Woman Magazine, February 1979