The apostle Paul said, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Co. 15:33) As parents, we know the value and the need for our children to keep good company. Paul’s words, if heeded, will save each of us lots of confusion and pain in our lives. And his words, if they are discounted, will doubtlessly prove to be true.
I remember when I was in college, our university had a benefit dinner with Gene Stallings as the guest speaker. He eloquently spoke and then at the end he fielded some questions. There’s one inquiry to which he responded that is etched in my mind. He was asked, “What is the one thing you wish you could do as a parent?” He said something along the lines of, “I wish I could pick their friends.” Certainly, every Christian parent’s prayer is for their child to choose good peers. Over the years, daily my wife and I have always prayed for our son to marry a Christian woman who will help him to go to heaven, to find someone who loves Jesus more than she loves him. Why? Because, as Paul said, “bad company ruins good morals.”
We all know why this is so important. It’s much easier to pull someone down than to pull him or her up. Years ago when we lived in South Carolina there was a brother at our congregation who was a bodybuilder. He probably weighed 275 or so. On one occasion I spotted for him as he pressed 360 pounds! (I’m not sure how it all would have played out had he gotten into trouble, just saying.) Anyway, this guy, physically, was a beast. Imagine if you were out on the lake and he falls overboard and you’re trying to pull this guy into the boat. The chances of him pulling you into the water far surpasses the chances of you pulling him out! So it is spiritually.
May God help us, as we maneuver through life, to be wise in our choice of companions. May we always be “stronger in the Lord” then they are “in the devil.” Why? Because, as Paul said, “bad company ruins good morals.” Make the choice to avoid evil companions!