How Do You Influence Your Children?


During the years when Harold and I were raising our family, I came across a little paperback book called “Your Teen-ager and You” by Anna B. Mow. There is hardly a page in the book where I have not underscored at least one sentence. And her words carry a lot of weight with me because she raised four teens at the same time!


The message that most touched my life was this: “The way I live my life as a parent is the biggest influence I can have on my children.” That means how I live will influence them far more than what I say. Do they see God’s love in my life? Do they see me praying? Do they see me resolving conflicts?


Here are three quotes from Anna Mow that you can think about:


No. 1—Anna Mow says, “[Our children] can argue against our much talking but never against God’s life lived out before them.”[1] Powerful, isn’t it!



No. 2—She says, “It is not the number of prayers parents pray but what difference praying makes that speaks to youth. They must see power for living to know that such power is available.”[2]



And No. 3—”Your differences and even your conflicts won’t hurt [them] at all if [they] see you resolve them.”[3] Wise words!


When God gave the law to Moses, He said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be [first] on your hearts.” Only then did He add, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7 NIV). What is true in your own life is what you will genuinely communicate to your kids.


[1] Anna B. Mow, Your Teen-ager and You (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1967), 35.

[2] Ibid., 37.

[3] Ibid., 82.