It’s interesting to note that Moses, as he instructs the Israelites on how best to transfer their beliefs and behaviors to the next generation (to have “intentional influence”), mentions multiple times and options: sitting, walking, lying down, getting up, on their hands and foreheads, and on their doorframes, houses, and gates. It seems like it would’ve been easier for Moses to say, “In every way and in every place.” But he didn’t; he gave them easily identifiable ways to do this important task.
It seems as if he knew that one way (say, for example, at meal time) wouldn’t be enough. It’s as if he wanted to open the Israelites to the reality that, as their children matured, changes in style would be necessary. A different approach would be critical. That’s what Pastor Bieschke meant (see graphic below) when he talked about moving from a “controlling influence” to a “relational influence.” As our children mature, we must transition from the first to the second if we desire to have long-lasting influence.
For more thoughts on influencing through relationships, check out this blog post by Pastor Ron Edmundson of Lexington, Kentucky. By substituting the word “parent” for “leader,” it’s easy to see how we can use this model to impact the direction of our children’s lives as they mature.