I talked with a friend this weekend. Her boys are 22 and 17. I have known them their whole lives. I watched her with them when they were younger. Her older son has brought her a lot of pain lately. He is not living his life the way she would have hoped. Without getting into details, he is making a lot of mistakes. A lot.
I get worried when I see children turn out this way. Could he come back and turn his life around? Of course. Remember the parable of the Prodigal Son? The teenage years used to seem SO far off that I couldn't worry about them. But now I do. I fear for my children to grow up and turn away from that which they have been taught. I am more aware each day that the decisions I make now will make an impact later in their lives.
I have been working on "tying strings of fellowship" with my daughters. I have been working on training and being consistent. (See here for more information--boy am I glad I read this book!) No one was out of control, but there is room for improvement! We make conscious decisions of what our girls are exposed to. And when they are exposed to it. And what we will tell them when they run across things that are not of God. We must prepare them. They must be prepared to be godly women, to be wives, mothers, and to stand firm in the faith. There is SO MUCH that they need before we are ready to turn them out on their own.
Will it be enough?
At the end of their time in our home, will we have supplied them with what they need to live a godly life? With all the other influences warring against our efforts every day, can what this home provides counteract all of that? How can I prepare them enough, protect them enough, teach them enough to be assured that they will be ready when they are grown?
How strong is the influence of home? I don't know, but thankfully, God is stronger. We will rely on Him.