Monday, September 30, 2013

Father Beware! The Little Ones Are Watching

It never ceases to amaze me how much my children imitate what I say, how I act, and what I do. If Daddy is mowing the lawn, he wants to be right behind me with his plastic lawn mower. If I'm playing my guitar, he has to run and get his. If I'm washing the car, there he is holding the hose and playing in the bubbles. Of course, things like that bring joy to my heart.

Unfortunately, there are also negative things in my life, that my sons are so quick to pick up on. Whether we like it or not, Dads, our little ones are watching us closely and it is a natural thing for them to imitate what they see in us. Not only is it a natural thing, imitating us is what they were created to do.

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 23:26:
"My son, pay close attention, and gladly follow my example." (CEV)
Perhaps you've heard the statement before that "more is caught, than taught." It is so true, that our children will imitate our actions more than they will listen to what we have to say. That is especially true when our actions do not line up with what we say. We, as fathers, have to be willing to step up to the plate and purpose in our hearts to become a Godly example for our children.

I'm not talking about going to church, paying our tithe, or helping out in children's church. Those are all great, but I'm talking about every day life here. Your children are watching to see how you act when pressure is applied to your life. They are watching your character. How do you react when you're a little short in your finances at the end of the month? How do you act when your internet service provider makes a mistake and suspends your dsl service? (I failed that test this week). What do you do when someone offends you? What do you do when you know you've offended someone else?

These are all tests of our character and your children are watching you closer than you think. I had a wake up call several years ago, that showed me just how close my then three and half year old watched me. For three days straight, he threw the biggest fits. Although he is prone to temper tantrums on occasion, this was beyond anything he had ever done. Each day, I would take him aside, talk to him about it and discipline him. On day three of this, I sit him on my lap and just began to talk to him. I asked him what was wrong and why he was so upset. His response floored me. "I'm just frustrated Dad." I asked him what he was frustrated about and he responded, "I'm frustrated about everything."

Now, I would like to claim that he got that from some movie he had watched recently, but the fact is, I was looking at a mirror image of myself. Those are words that he learned from yours truly. I have to admit, that is not the kind of example I want to set for my children. I want them to see their Dad able to maintain peace in the midst of a storm. I want them to see him maintain a spirit of calm, when things around him don't go as planned. How about you? Do you want them to see the fruit of the spirit pouring out of you regardless of what's going on around you?

Paul said in scripture, "follow me as I follow Christ." It is an awesome and powerful thing for a Dad to be able to look his son or daughter in the eye and say follow my example as I follow Christ. I'm sure you've heard the statement, "Do as I say, not as I do." Let's determine to be men of God who live in such a way that we are not ashamed for our children to "do as we do."

No comments:

Post a Comment