The Influence of Family
“Thou art thy mother’s daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.”
Every person has characteristics they picked up from their family. Whether this is good or bad, there is a lot about you that you got from your parents. I often say that the area where parents are the hardest on their children is the area that parents hate about themselves that they picked up from their parents. The reason they are so hard is because they don’t want their children to pick up the same bad habit.
It says in the verse above, “Thou are thy mother’s daughter…” In other words, this verse is showing the influence family has on family. Notice that it says, “…thou art the sister of they sisters…” In other words, even siblings have an influence on each other. Just like a parent influences a child’s habits and behavior, so also does a sibling influence the habits and behavior of another sibling. The influence of family on each other is great. Because you are influencing your family, there are several thoughts you need to consider about what your actions.
First, somebody is watching. You may think that nobody sees what you do, but there is somebody in your family who will eventually catch you doing what you don’t want them to see. If you don’t want someone in your family catching you doing something you should not be doing, you should stop doing it. When they catch you doing what you should not be doing, they will either be totally disappointed in you, or they will use your actions as an excuse to do the same thing. If you don’t want other family members doing what you do, then you should stop doing it.
Second, family catches on by example more than they do by word. You may tell your family not to do something, but if you do it your word doesn’t mean much to them. You need to understand that your family is watching you and learning how to live life. The example you live will do more to influence your family for right than preaching at them or telling them not to do what you are doing.
Third, a siblings influence is powerful. Many siblings learn more things from their bothers or sisters than they do from outside sources. Just go back and remember some things you learned from your siblings that you should not have ever learned, or things you learned from them that has helped you positively throughout life. One reason parents need to be so careful about children constantly being alone is that the siblings often influence and teach the other siblings things that they probably should not know.
Fourth, the best way to keep family from copying your bad habits and behavior is to change yourself. If you don’t want your family to do what you are doing, you should start the journey of overcoming that bad habit or behavior. The power of changing your actions will do more to influence your family than anything you say. When your family sees that you are putting the effort into changing what you know is wrong, they will see and consider what they are doing.
Let me ask you, is there something you are doing that is influencing your family for wrong? If there is, let me encourage you to tell them what you are doing is wrong, but also start the journey of overcoming the bad habit or behavior so that your family won’t use that as their excuse to do wrong.