A study once disclosed that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their children remain faithful. If only Dad, 55% remain faithful. If only Mom, 15%. If neither attended regularly, only 6% remain faithful. The statistics speak for themselves – the example of parents and adults is more important than all the efforts of the church and Sunday school.

-Warren Mueller, Homemade May 1990


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The ultimate leaders
develop followers who will surpass them. Runners will become coaches and train
other athletes who will break their records. Executives will motivate subordinates
so successfully that they will become their superiors. And parents, in their
devotion to a child, will pull him or her up beside them – and then encourage
the child to go even higher.

When Harry and
Ada Mae Day had their first child, they traveled 225 miles from their ranch
to El Paso for the delivery, and Ada Mae brought her baby, Sandra, home to a
difficult life. The four-room adobe house had no running water and no electricity.
There was no school within driving distance.

But the Days did
not allow themselves to be limited by their surroundings. Harry had been forced
by his father’s death to take over the ranch rather than enter Stanford University,
but he never gave up hope that his daughter would someday study there. Sandra’s
mother first taught her at home, and also saw to it that the house was stocked
with newspapers, magazines and books. One summer the Days took their children
to all the state capitals west of the Mississippi.

Sandra did go to
Stanford, to law school, and became the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme
Court. On the day of her swearing in, the family was there. “She looked
around, saw us and locked her eyes right into ours,” said her brother,
Alan. “That’s when the tears started falling.”

What motivates
a woman like Sandra Day O’Connor? Intelligence, of course, and inner drive.
But much of the credit goes to a determined ranch mother sitting in her adobe
house, reading to her children by the hour, and who, with her husband, scampered
up the stairways of capitol domes, their children in tow.

From The Reader’s

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As a part of Josh
McDowell’s “Why Wait?” campaign, the Barna Research Group in Glendale,
California, assisted several evangelical denominations in conducting a national
survey among its youth. Here is a sampling of the results that relate to parent
and teen relationships.

1. 75% of the youth
said they were “very close” or “fairly close” to their father,
89% described the same relationship with their mother.
2. 51% said they “seldom” or “never” talk to their father
about personal concerns, 67% said they “frequently” or “occasionally”
ask their father for advice.
3. 87% said they “frequently” or “occasionally” felt proud
of their father. 91% felt the same way about mother.
4. 81% said their parents “frequently” or “occasionally”
spend time with them.
5. Only 58% said the “frequently” or “occasionally” did
something special with their father that involved just the two of them. 53%
said they spend less than 15 minutes each week talking to their father about
things that matter to the youth.
6. 53% said their home is a place where they felt secure and loved.

The survey was
conducted among church young people (96% Christians) and is almost identical
to a larger sampling of Christian evangelical young people.

Sermon’s Illustrated

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Does it really matter that much: good Christian parents, good Christian homes? I turn to the most revealing proof of which I know – Jonathon Edwards and Max Jukes. Jonathon Edwards was an outstanding Christian. A researcher followed up his descendants. He learned that out of his 1,394 descendants came 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 60 prominent lawyers, 32 noted authors, 90 physicians, 200 ministers of the Gospel, and 300 good farmers.

Max Jukes was the very antithesis of Mr. Edwards, for he was very notorious as a crook without principle or character. The life histories of 903 of his offspring showed he spawned 300 delinquents, 145 confirmed drunkards, 90 prostitutes, 285 had “evil diseases”, and over 100 spent an average of 13 years in prison. It was estimated that the crimes and care of that one family cost the state of New York over one million dollars – while Jonathon Edwards never cost the government a single penny – instead making contributions of incalculable worth.

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Near a church in Kansas, there can be seen in a cement sidewalk the prints of two baby feet with the toes pointing toward the Church. It was said that many years ago, when the sidewalk was being laid, a mother secured permission to stand her baby boy on the wet cement. The tracks are seen today plainly. The mother had wanted her little boy to start aright.

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J. Robertson McQuilkin, President of Columbia Bible College, observed that “Christian parents no longer hold Christian ministry as an ambition for their children.” They want them to have a piece of this “secure, materialistic, prestigious world.” Yet what more secure future could we want for our children than to give them to God! Only He can guide and keep them.

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