"Hi Mom," said Mark as he got into the car.
"Hi Mark. How was school?"
"It was fine, but something strange happened. Our teacher made us tell about our parents."
Mark's mom asked, "What is so strange about that?"
Mark said, "One boy said he did not want to be like his father. His dad drinks a lot of beer and does mean things to his family. Then he said something that surprised us all. He said that he would never drink beer like his dad, and then he said he was going to give his life to God instead."
Then Mark said, "Mom, I thought that we weren't allowed to talk about God at school."
"No," said Mark's mother. "That isn't true. You can talk about God any time you want at school."
"I didn't know that," said Mark. Then Mark said, "Well, this boy got me thinking. I don't want to be like my dad either."
Mark's mom looked surprised, "Why would you say that, Mark?"
"Mom, I see how dad always tells lies. Just yesterday he told you we were late because my game was long, but the real reason is that he talked to his friends for a long time after the game was over."
"Really?" said Mark's mom.
"Yes," said Mark, "and last week in Sunday School I learned that God puts all liars in the lake of fire."
Mark's mom said, "Yes, the Bible does say that all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire" (Revelation 21:8).
"Mom, I don't want Dad to go to the lake of fire," said Mark.
"Mark, I have talked to your dad about God before, but he thinks he is fine. He does not want to change."
Mark said, "I don't want to be like him. I am going to give my life to God like my friend. I am never going to drink beer or tell lies."
Mark's mom took Mark by the hand and said, "I am glad to hear that. You do not have to be like Dad. The Bible says that if a son sees his father sin and does not do what his father does the the son will live" (see Ezekiel 18:14-17).
Mark said, "I want to the right thing, Mom. I want to be a son like that."
Children, you do not have to be like your parents. If you see them do wrong things, you can do right things instead. You can tell the truth instead of telling lies. You can stay away from beer and drugs. Instead, you can give your life to God like Mark did.