Although I would like to take full credit for the strength and maturity that my son, Carter, recently showed, I am absolutely certain that the credit must be shared with a church family that helped prepare him for moments just like the one he recently encountered.
It was supposed to be a fun night at a neighbor boy’s house with three other neighborhood 6th grade boys. When plans to go see a movie fell through, the boys began to just hang out and, of course, pulled out their electronic devices. One kid had a small laptop and when Carter realized the kid was looking up pornography he asked the kid to stop. When the kid refused, Carter told him he was going to have to leave if he didn’t stop. Long story short, Carter ended up back at home, after being ridiculed, cussed out and pushed for standing his ground. He said the most frustrating thing about the whole situation was that he had hoped he was being a good influence on the kid and this seemed like evidence that his friend doesn’t want to change. (That was the part where I cried and told him he could have anything he wanted)
Words can’t express how proud my husband, James, and I were in that moment. And as I reflect on how Carter arrived at that place where he was strong enough to take a stand, I am reminded of the countless positive influences that have helped mold him into who he is. The children’s ministry team that provided him with weekly opportunities to experience God’s love. The friends he has made at church, who are great examples of how true friends treat each other. The connect group leaders who provide an atmosphere of fun but purposeful fellowship. The youth pastors who have consistently spoken of choosing what is right with strength and courage. The pastors who encourage us to be “in” the world but not “of” the world and who live what they preach. Each of these elements played a part in giving Carter the strength to stand up for what he believed was right.
Not to mention the same influences that James and I have received that give us wisdom as parents! We all need each other. We are better together!
I pray that this encourages you to value the Godly people and influences in your life (and your kids’ lives!). And also to value your own role in the body of Christ. We all have a part to play, our own special work.
Ephesians 4:16 NLT
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Devoted Devotional By Jennifer Shupert