How Can You Be the Most Influential Person in Your Child’s Life?


Guest blogger Steve Hines sheds light on the urgent need for parents to engage in tough conversations, live authentically, challenge their own opinions in light of God’s word, and most importantly, pray fervently for their children’s well-being and spiritual guidance:

The loudest voice in the room.

I like to ask parents if they are the loudest voice in the room when it comes to their children.  I do not mean yelling and screaming to be heard.  I mean, have they developed a loving and nurturing relationship with their children so that their opinion matters more to the child than what the world is telling the child.

A Must-Read for Parents: Salt, Light, & Kids

In my book Salt, Light, & Kids (Parenting Well in Today’s Culture), I talk about this important question.  The culture of today, led by Satan, is working very hard to influence our kids at younger and younger ages.  In the not-too-distant past, it was relatively easy for parents to have the biggest influence on their kids, at least until the teenage years.  Now, technology and social media have made it much more difficult for parents to have the most influence.  Between TikTok and Instagram and the other social media platforms, our young people are being barraged by unhealthy and ungodly opinions and content all the time.  And if you say, ‘my children don’t have phones yet so it’s not a problem’, then you’re fooling yourself.

Dangerous Influential Media on Young Minds: A Wake-Up Call from Trolls and TikTok

I was recently watching the Trolls cartoon with my five-year-old granddaughter, and she pointed at a character on the screen and said, “that boy had a baby.”  I was stunned and told her that was impossible because God made it where girls had babies and boys were fathers.  She stared stoically back at me and said, “well, that boy had one.”  Already, through supposedly age-appropriate media, my granddaughter thought boys could have babies.  That really brought the point home to me that Satan is winning the war of confusion with our kids at younger and younger ages, and ultimately trying to set them up at earlier and earlier points in their lives to follow paths that are not of God.

You probably have noticed the sudden issue with so many transgender kids. Young people who supposedly are confused as to their gender have come out of the woodwork over the last ten years or so.  Well, you can thank TikTok for this terrible and sad phenomenon.  God has ‘assigned our gender’ for us at birth, and Satan has used social media to grandly mess His plan up.  After all, when Satan lies, he speaks his native tongue, and is the father of lies.  And now, he has unbelievably powerful platforms to spread his lies.

So, What Do Parents Need to Do to Be the Most Influential People in the Lives of Their Children?

Tough Conversations.

First, start having tough conversations with your kids at younger and younger ages. You can bet their friends and teachers and phones and cartoons are talking to them, so you better be talking to them as well.  Be bold but be also sympathetic and compassionate.  If you try to shove something down their throats, they will shut you out. But doing nothing and hoping for the best is no longer a viable option.

Live Authentically.

Next, you MUST live an authentic life.  If your children hear one thing but see another in your actions, you’ve lost them.  Kids mature much too quickly these days, and they demand authenticity in everything, including their parents.

Challenge Your Opinions.

Thirdly, parents must challenge their own personal opinions as it relates to God’s word.  Culture is also doing a number on the parents of today, and making parents feel okay about sinful things is a masterful trick Satan is playing on parents.  1 Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court.  Indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.” Just because you feel a certain way about a particular subject does not make it okay.  You should filter everything through what God’s word says and what the Holy Spirit prompts.


Finally, nothing is more important than praying and pleading with God daily for the hearts and minds and lives of your children.  Pray for protection over what they are being exposed to.  Pray for your relationship with them.  Pray for angels to minister to them.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill them and you, and to guide you into all truth…and that includes parenting.

About Steve Hines:

Guest blogger Steve Hines is the author of Salt, Light, and Kids (Parenting Well in Today’s Culture), as well as a life-long entrepreneur and musician. Church of the Highlands founding pastor Chris Hodges wrote the book’s foreword, and in the book Steve talks about how to raise up good kids who are salt and light to our ever-darkening world. Steve lives with his wife Leigh Ann in Nashville where their children, spouses, and grandchildren live. 

Love this post? You can listen to Steve on the Raising Christian Kids podcast, where he further discusses these challenges we are facing the the importance of being intentional in raising kids as salt and light in the world!

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