First of all, before I get into today's topic, I want to thank all of you that were so gracious to pray for my recovery. I am still not 100%, but feeling better and I thank you so much for your prayers. Since we are finishing up the remnants of a virus in our home, I thought it appropriate to talk about contagious diseases. If you have a large family, you know how easy it is for one person to get a virus of some kind and then within 24 to 72 hours after that first person gets it, someone else starts showing signs. At this rate, what should have been a 7-10 day virus, with a large family can take up to a month to eradicate it from the home. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of catching viruses form others, we could easily catch good health? I don't know about you, but I would be finding the healthiest family I know and having my children shadow them for days to get good health. That sounds a little ridiculous doesn't it? Trying to catch good health. But, what is true in the physical in this case, is also true in the spiritual.
Why is it when we would never dare to have our children around those who have strep throat, whooping cough, or the flu, yet we allow them to be in the company of other children who are far more dangerous to them spiritually? We justify our actions sometimes by saying how much our children can be an influence for good to others. There is a great difference in witnesses and immersing yourself in a friendship with an unbeliever. Even adults do not withstand that type of temptation, so why do we think our children can? The truth is that it is easier to go with the culture and allow our children to associate with those of questionable character because everyone else is doing it. We send our children to functions of all kinds...some even in the church, where they are constantly in contact with children who are poor influences.
And then, after spending time with these influences, we wonder why there is a sudden change in our children's behavior? When my oldest daughter was about six years old, we were living in a neighborhood where many children would spend time outside playing. There was a particular little girl who was not watched by her parents and would roam the neighborhood. She would come down often and want to play with my daughter. After just two afternoons with this girl, my daughter developed a defiant attitude toward me. Just two afternoons! I told her she was no longer allowed to play with this little girl because a true friend is one that causes us to be more like Jesus, not less. My daughter went back to respecting my authority just by keeping her away from this child. So, what is a parent to do? Be as diligent in the associations that your children have as you are in whether they play out in the street where cars are passing. Be aware parent that your children's associations will do one of two things...make them more like Christ, or less. There is no middle ground. The same is true with adults. If I spend time with women that bash and denegrate their husbands on a daily basis...is that going to help me in my marriage? Certainly not. I have seen too many adults that were professing Christians go the way of the world just because they started being close friends with those that were ungodly. I Corinthians 15:33 says, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." We still battle an evil flesh...one that does not easily withstand temptation. Why do we expect our children to withstand more than we are able to do? Watch your children's friends and put an end to relationships that are ungodly. To allow them to continue is detrimental to your child's eternal health...and that is far more important than their physical. Remember one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Have you ever seen one good apple make all the bad ones good again? It doesn't happen in the physical and it doesn't happen in the spiritual. Guard your children...you won't regret it.