I believe every believer and non-believer would love to see their children live great and successful lives. For the believer though there is more, or there should be more. We want our children to live Christ-like lives here on earth and to make eternity with God. As parents we are stewards, the children really belong to God and as stewards we will be called upon to render accounts on how we handled the children God gave to us to look after. We have to tell our children about the love of Christ, we have to teach them God’s word, which is able to save their souls. Acts 20:32
Our children however would respond better to being shown rather than just being told about Christ. Our lifestyles will minister more to them than mere telling, if our life styles are not consistent with our telling, they will view our words as empty and meaningless, it would have no impact whatsoever on them. Our children watch carefully to see if we live before and behind them what we preach or teach. Our main aim should therefore be to live lives that will model Christ to our children since they most times emulate us as they grow. Here are some of the ways I believe we can show our children godly examples:
1. Mind Your Language
Many times the language (talk and body) our children get used to hearing at home will be the language they speak. I have seen this play out a lot in my home and in the home of others. The children teachers at our Church often say that they get to know us a lot from the displays of our children. Matthew 7:20 Can apply to our children and us too. Colossians 3:8
2. Mind Your Friends
Our children watch to see the kind of company we keep, and I tell you they want to take a cue from us. Also, the people we bring home will have influence on our children be it in short or long time. When we keep godly friends and relations and then teach our children to, it would make more sense to them because our actions speak louder than our words…
Sometimes when they tell them what they shouldn’t do, I have heard some children tell their parents …”but you do it too.”
Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 28:7
3. Mind Your Dressing
We set examples for our children in our dress pattern. If we dress revealing our privates: breast, tummies, and bums our children will believe it is an acceptable way of dressing and we will not be able to effectively correct them on their own dressing. Psalm 1:1,
4. Mind Your Attitude
The attitude we put up towards our spouses, our children, people, issues and other things send messages to our children. Impatience, anger, malice, gossip, and all those negative attitudes will be very wrong examples to show our children, plus, they have a way of rubbing off on them too. Matthew 3:8, Galatians 5:22
5. Mind Your Study Life
Our children can learn a lot from us, if they “see” us study often; they are most likely to copy us. It may not be automatic but many times what they see long enough would leave an impression in their hearts that will eventually come to play sooner or later in their lives.
Also when we share with them the importance of reading and studying the Bible, they will be more able to grasp it because they often see us eat from God’s word.
2 Timothy 2:15, Joshua 1:8
6. Mind Your Prayer Life
When we let our children know that complete dependence on God is totally important to our survival and success in this life, and they see us kneel daily in surrender and commitment to God and His will as we pray, it leaves a deep seated message in their hearts. I have heard many adults today testify of how their parents prayer lives as they were growing up has affected them and the most important decisions they made in life. Luke 18:1
If we live like Christ would in private or public, then we will be modelling Christ to our children. This is plain truth.
Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah). 1 Corinthians 11:1
To illustrate how much our actions can influence our children, I want to share a true story, it happened in my house. My husband had just returned from work and my about 10 month-old and I were playing on our bedroom floor when he walked in and gave me a kiss. Immediately he took his lips off mine, my son crawled with speed to me and grabbed my lips in his too, I don’t remember who pulled him off now, whether my husband or me. You see how what we do can in literal terms influence what our children do?
What are the ways you model Christ to your own children, or the children under your influence? Please share in the comment box.
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan Teshuva 2013
Photo Credit: Sustainable Cherry Hill