As our small group began a study of Galatians yesterday evening, we each were asked to identify someone who had a significant impact on our lives. I found it interesting that everyone identified either a family member or a pastor. It's no surprise that a pastor would have an influence on our lives. But it's sobering to think about the influence, whether good or bad, that we have over our family members.
This thought leads me to contemplate how important it is for us to have strength of character. In more casual relationships with neighbors, co-workers or fellow church members, we may be able to hide our character defects, at least to some extent, and we can put on a good front. But our family members know who we are at home. They can see our character, and our character will have an influence on them.
During the past twenty years we have been made aware of the importance of investing time with our families. But if your strength of character is lacking, what type of influence will you have while investing your time with them? You may spend hours each week taking kids to their athletic events. You may take your family on mission trips, or you may serve in the youth group at church. But what do your family members see in your character? Are you steady and sure in your walk with Christ, or do you only say that you are His follower? Your character will have a much greater influence on your family members than any investment of your time.
We all have our weaknesses. But if we yield our hearts to God, He will strengthen our character. Do you have flaws in your character that may have a negative influence on those that know you well? Confess those weaknesses to God and ask Him to mold you into His image. In your weakness, He will prove Himself strong.