Browsing through an office supply store, I noticed several types of markers available for sale. I began to think about the kind of marks each one makes and realized that these markers are much like the marks families are making in our world.

Hi-lighter Families:
The hi-lighter is a person who likes to be in the spotlight. Behind-the-scenes missions work does not give enough exposure, so don't expect this person to visit shut-ins or work on a service project. I recall knowing a young girl who would never volunteer to be involved in any type of a service program. But, the thought of being able to sing a special song in front of her peers or a larger congregation was everything she dreamed of. I realized that she was looking for the opportunities to do stuff where people would notice her. This is dangerous for us as individuals or as families because it indicates that we are living for worldly applause and it can hinder our witness for the Lord.

Erasable Marker Families:
These people live by their own selfish desires and, if necessary, they erase enough of their tracks to keep others from knowing how they really live. We give these kinds of families names such as "wishy-washy" or "two-faced." We must be careful that we don't make a reputation like this for our family.

Invisible Marker Families:
These people are like the man who once told me he took the winter off with his Christianity. But in the spring, he just let it blossom all over again. What a joke! If a special solution must be used to find the mark you've made for the Lord, then your Christianity is full of deceitfulness.

Fine Point Marker Families:
People living this lifestyle make the lightest possible mark for Christ. They say they're Christians, but no one at work or in their home knows about it. To them, Christianity is something to be hidden under a bushel.

Bold, Permanent Marker Families:
These Christians are making a stand for Christ in their neighborhoods. They represent truth, kindness, discipline, honest and integrity. The Lord is looking for more families who are willing to make a bold mark for him. Let me remind you that there will be consequences and inconveniences if you call on the name of the Lord and seek to be a witness. People won't like you. Some may be offended. There may be others who criticize the way you act and live, especially if it's wholly for the Lord. We must be faithful! After all, the bold, permanent marks are also the ones that will always be remembered.

As I read the story of Pharaoh's encounter with Moses, I am impressed by the kind of mark Moses made. (You can read this story in Exodus 7 of the Bible.) He left no doubt in anyone's mind that God was the Lord. At a time when it would have been convenient to hide in the shadows, he boldly proclaimed God's plan for His people.

Whether I like it or not, my family is leaving its mark on our neighborhood. Is it barely seen, or is it bold and permanent?

Here are some questions you can consider with your family:
1. Which marker type best corresponds with your family?

2. What kind of steps can your family take to make sure you leave the right kind of mark for Christ?

When answering these questions, you may initiate conversation that will be helpful in building the relationships in your home.