Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An evil mother's influence

Herodias - Artist unknown
Herodias and her daughter - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 14:1-12

"So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, 'Give me John the Baptist's head on a platter.'" Matthew 14:8

If a closet full of new gowns, a shiny chariot, or spirited horse popped into Herodias' daughter's head when Herod said she could have whatever she wanted, they would never materialize. For her mother told her to ask for John the Baptist's head and the girl listened to her mother!

Eeeuw!  I wonder what that did for the girl's ability to sleep without nightmares. I wonder what kind of woman she grew up to become.

Like wives have the power to influence a husband spiritually, so mothers (and fathers) influence their children. Some examples from the Bible:

  • Moses' mother Jochebed must have influenced Miriam well, for Miriam was the one who suggested to Pharaoh's daughter that she get Jochebed as a nurse for baby Moses.
  • Samuel's instant obedience when he heard who he thought was Eli call his name was, I would suggest, the result of early training by Hannah.
  • Of Ahaziah the king of Samaria and the son of Ahab and Jezebel it was said, "He did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother - 1 Kings 22:52.
  • Timothy, who became Paul's assistant, had a grandmother and mother to thank for launching him on the path of faith - 1 Timothy 1:5.

Let's take seriously our power to influence our children. Let's face the fact that our requests of them, our actions, and example will bear fruit. If we ask our kids to tell the person on the phone we're not home when we are, if we sample food in the grocery store without paying, if we gossip behind peoples' backs, or whatever, we're telling our kids it's okay to lie, steal, slander…

The classic advice in Proverbs bears out a parent's or caregiver's life-long influence:
"Train up a child in the way he should go
And when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6

PRAYER: Dear God, help us as parents and grandparents to be aware that we are being watched, listened to, and copied; that our influence can change the course of a life. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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