If you don’t want to train your kids, there are plenty of people who’d be more than happy to do it for you. But I’ll warn you, you might not like the result. Once there was a beautiful, young girl who grew up in a Christian home. She went to Sunday School and church until she finished high school. Her parents sent her to a secular college. When she came back nine months later, she had become an atheist. This broke the hearts of her parents. They prayed and shed many tears, but they could not get her to change her mind. Finally, they gently scolded their daughter about the change they had seen in her. The young woman rushed upstairs, took a gun, stood in front of a mirror, and ended her life. While she never finished school, her teachers had taught her everything she needed to know to ruin her life.

It doesn’t take much to influence young adults. All it takes is a few words, positive or negative, spoken at the right time and place. God knew this when He told Moses to instruct the parents in Israel to make the Word of God a regular part of their conversation, “when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) The more a young adult sees how to apply God’s Word to the everyday situations in life, the more he or she will embrace it. The more they embrace God’s Word, the less likely they will be to allow someone to turn them against it.

Are your kids spiritually strong? I’m not talking about whether or not they read their Bibles and pray before they eat, although these are good things to do. If they were away from home for more than a week, would they come back with the bad habits and worldly perspective of their peers, or would they hold to their Biblical morals? Train them now so that they will respond the right way under pressure later, because the world will do everything it can to get them to compromise. Teach them how to stand on their own — because if you don’t, someone else will, and the results could be deadly.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder