The other night as I went in to pray with Dani, she got up and started to walk across her bed. I looked at her and said, "What are you doing?"
She promptly replied, "Can we pray where I usually pray when nobody is with me?" Then she walked over and knelt at the foot of her bed.
I realized that at some point she must have seen her Daddy kneeling to pray.
It got me to thinking about how our children use our lives as examples for their own. I have seen this in many cases, good and bad, in our own lives. I see my impatience in a few of them, I see my motherliness in a few of them, and I hear some of my very own words leaving their mouths in encouragement to their friends, just as I encourage them.
What kind of example are we living for them to follow?
1 Corinthians 11:1
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness
As we go through our every day lives, we must remember that people are watching us. Not just our children, but others. Are we living an example of Christ's life or are we just going through the motions?
Do we sit in church on Sunday, say Amen, and then go out and live our lives the way we want to?
By our example, our children learn how to develop an every day walk with Jesus. They learn that Christianity is not just a Sunday morning thing. They learn to tell others the Good News! They learn to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, strength and mind.
Do we JUST sit in church on Sunday? By our example our children learn to be "on fire", they learn to volunteer for things and be available to use their talents, they learn to worship God through service. They learn to worship God through praise!
When things get tough, do we give up?
By our example our children learn to press on even through hard times, they learn persistence, and they learn how to brush off what other people say about them. They learn that sacrifice for the name of God is a joy!
Do we gossip and say mean things about others? Do we treat others kindly? Do we show God's love to everyone?
By our example our children learn to treat others kindly, to show God's love to everyone, just as Jesus did. They learn that words can hurt others and they learn to harness their tongues! They learn that every person has worth in the eyes of God and they learn to show His love, even to those that WE may not deem worthy, because in God's eyes we are all the same!
Are we faithful to our spouses and if not married are we abstinent? Do we treat our spouses with love and respect? Do we show each other the adoration and love that God showed us?
By our example our children learn about marriage. They learn how they should be treated and they learn how to treat their spouse. If we love each other the way Christ loved the church our children will learn that they should be loved that way and they will learn to love that way too. Our children learn from watching how we interact with each other in a marriage. If we are single parents, our children will watch how we act when we are dating. If we try to teach them abstinence we should live that example for them, unless we are in a committed marriage!
Do we have low self-esteem? Do we treat our children with respect?
By our example our children learn to love themselves. They will learn that God loves them! They will learn that He made them each for a very special purpose and He knew that purpose even before they were born.
Do we apologize when we make mistakes? Do we wallow in our guilt or do we brush off and move on?
By our example our children will learn that we are all human, "all have sinned", they will learn how to act when they make mistakes, they will learn to apologize and move on and learn from their mistakes.
Make no mistake about it, you DO have influence in your children's lives. They watch you, they see how you act. I once had a friend tell me that they didn't believe that they had nearly as much influence in their kid's lives as their kid's friends did. I absolutely do not believe that. The Bible tells us "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Prov 22:6)
When you are "training" for a job, the first thing they have you do is observe that job being done. I will tell you that by living an example of Christ's life you are beginning the training that your kids needs to follow Christ's example too.Our Ch