noticeable mark on the container. Applied to life, what we pour into our children will leave a long and noticeable mark on them.
The ancient Roman poet Horace understood that the influences that press our children’s hearts have a lasting effect on their character. Here’s how he said it:
New vessels will for long retain the taste
Of what is first poured into them.
Summer is a good time to reflect on what we pour into our children and how it will affect them. Without the crushing busyness the school year can bring, summer can afford us some time for reflection on our parenting goals and how we need to carefully shepherd what our kids take in.
If we want our children to be wise, kind, and faithful to Christ, then we ought to make sure that what they consume is consistent with that vision. The music they hear, the shows and movies they watch, the friends and mentors they have, and the books they read all will leave a mark on their lives.
Moses knew the power of creating environments for our children where they would be immersed in God’s truth. And his vision for parenting was not some idealistic, cloistered family life far from the warp and woof of “real life.” Instead, it was a realistic mandate for parents to view and process everything in normal, daily life through the lens of God’s truth.
In Deuteronomy 6:7, Moses says that parents should teach God’s words diligently to their children. The phrase “teach diligently” in the text means to impress or to sharpen. This brings us back to our food container idea. We impress or sharpen our children through so much more than our words; we also teach them by what we allow into their hearts.
So, as you make movie, book, playdate, and other choices for your kids this summer, remember that everything they consume will leave its mark on their hearts, for good or for evil, or for what is true or what is false.
Next time you reach for a plastic food container that retains the mark of what was last in it, remember that what our children consume this summer will bear fruit throughout the rest of the year, and perhaps the rest of their lives.
Cultivating godly influencers
Wilmington Christian School provides a distinctively Christian, innovative education that effectively develops Godly influencers who are well prepared for life after high school and who impact the culture for Christ.