Parents, Be Careful What You Allow

John Wesley said, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” He was referring to sin. And we have seen this play out throughout history. But I’d like to look at it from a different angle. 

Kids always listen to, watch, and mimic grownups. And they often follow any example they’re shown. Kids from violent homes are more likely to become violent. Children of alcoholics have a much higher chance of having the same problem.

Importance of the home atmosphere

The atmosphere in which a child is raised is crucial. It tends to rub off on them. So if we raise a child in a critical, judgmental, or gossipy atmosphere, how is he or she likely to turn out?

I saw this play out in my daughter’s family. Not gossip or criticism. But the way they were able to pick up on things. When they were young, our grandchildren used words that were too big for them. They learned from their parents and older siblings.

Most assuredly we all want to raise loving kids. Children who care about others and treat them with kindness. Respectful and enjoyable to have around. So let’s remember Wesley’s wisdom. “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.”

The next generation

But it’s also true that what one generation embraces, the next might embrace even more.

SO WHAT IF… we apply ourselves more wholeheartedly to loving as Christ did?

WHAT IF… we learn to give up our rights, instead of getting angry when wronged or slighted?

WHAT IF… we pray and read God’s Word with more zeal than we give to our jobs and hobbies?

WHAT IF… we focus on using more of our finances for God’s work? To spread the Good News and help the poor, widows and orphans?

WHAT IF… we tame our tongues to the point that gentleness became an automatic response?

WHAT IF… we become known for showing love, mercy, and patience — even to those with whom we disagree?

WHAT IF… others see us as people who practice what we preach?

WHAT IF… we hunger and thirst so much for justice, righteousness, and a pure heart that it turns our lives upside down?

Even causing us to move to a poor neighborhood just to help the needy. Or prepare our spare room for an unwed mom. Or downsize our house so we can help others.

What one generation truly embraces, the next will embrace even more.

What one generation embraces, the next might embrace even more.

For good or for bad, children follow the example of adults. So as parents, grandparents, or anyone who is involved with them, let’s be careful about what we do and say. Kids are eating it up, and will likely put it into action.

What we do and say leaves a much more profound legacy than we can even imagine!

Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 CSB

Images: Family by davegerber | TV by StockSnap.

25 thoughts on “Parents, Be Careful What You Allow

    1. Oh my Linda, I can only imagine the heartbreaking situations you glimpse. But I praise the Lord that you are there with the kids, working hard to make an impact. Know that I uphold you and the camp in my prayers. Keep on with the good work!!


  1. You’ve given us high goals to achieve for the sake of our children. But the result will be worth it, when they exemplify the godly behavior we’ve tried to model and teach during their growing years. You’re so right: We grandparents must share in the responsibility too!


    1. You’re so right, Nancy, it is a high bar for parents and all who work with kids, including us grandparents. And one which I realize we can never fully achieve. Yet with the Lord’s help we can at least grow closer and closer to it – knowing that even a little progress can make a big difference. May the Lord help us day by day!


    1. Thanks Jennifer! I hope it serves as an encouragement to parents. And helps us all to work at being a good example for the kids in our lives or that we know. It’s so important and counts for eternity!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree Mrs. Sheila and I love this post. Sometimes, children will see what adults do and will mimic them.

    But like you said, we need to whether as parents or as siblings, we need to make sure that the next generation doesn’t repeat the same mistakes.

    I think that John Wesley quote fits well with the scripture in Proverbs.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post Sheila. I think you have just found the solution to all of the violence going on in the US. What I’ve heard of this latest school shooting is that this young man was shunned his classmates. No one really reached out to him and he was a loner. If I had applied what you said I doubt this would have happened. I doubt it would have happened in any of the shootings going on.

    Be blessed

    Liked by 1 person

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