I spent some time this week at a funeral visitation for the father of a childhood friend. His name was Hershel Benberry (also the name of his oldest son). For several decades he taught students how to drive in the West Aurora High School District. I knew him because his son and I were in grade school at Covenant Christian for many years. Hershel (the younger) and I spent a lot of time together as kids. There were sleepovers and baseball games. Lots of kids’ stuff. It wasn’t until I was driving to the visitation and reflecting on things that I realized the impact Hershel (the older) and his wife, Laetitia, had on me.
I remember them as good parents. They always had a good mix of expressing love, discipline, and high expectations for both of their boys. And they loved Jesus. I mean that. There are people who are Christians. They go to church, hang in Christian circles, and are generally good citizens. Then there are people who love Jesus. Hershel was one of these people. Laetitia still is.
Christian parents are under pressure to instill a knowledge of the Bible in their children and to teach them to honor God. God blesses them with the opportunity to “train up a child in the way he should go.” But their impact doesn’t stop with their own kids.
That’s because their children have friends who hang around the house and are influenced. They see the way the parents interact with their children. The friends observe the character of the parents and are impacted by it.
I don’t say this add pressure to parents, but understand that the way you raise your children impacts many more people than just your kids. God can use you to influence your children, their friends, and countless other people who come into contact with them.
That’s what Hershel Benberry and his wife did for me. And I’m eternally grateful.