Have you ever noticed the impact your actions have on your children? I recently started a new exercise program that really stepped up my game. The results were quite noticeable. I started to develop muscle I hadn’t seen much of in a very long time and also some that I didn’t even know existed. I had shared with my family how much better I felt – more energy, less pain, stronger, and a little less crazy – which is something every family member appreciates.
There were plenty of days that I did not feel like working out, I was fatigued or fighting some symptom that would have made it easier to sit on the couch, but I persisted. Often times I would finish my workout and announce to the house, “I did it!” as if I had just completed my first triathlon. My two favorite little supporters always congratulated me.
Along the way I noticed something interesting happening, my kids started to take more interest in exercise. They wanted to get stronger as well. One evening, I found my daughter doing push-ups and then my son holding her feet while she did crunches. Next, my son started to run laps around the living room. At this point a thought struck me, what other examples am I showing my children – good, as well as bad? If I want them to strengthen their spiritual muscle, then the benefits must be just as evident. For this is the strength and wisdom that will truly sustain them when life strikes at them.
The book of Proverbs says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (22:6 NIV). Although Proverbs is not a book of promises, it is full of wisdom. I can’t control the future for my children, but I can lead them in the right direction. If my children are always watching and evaluating me, I need to do more than tell them the right way—I need to show them. Do they see me showing love and respect to my spouse, spending time in the Word, or serving others in need? These are just a few of the things I want to model to them. Let’s take some time during the week to reflect on what examples we are showing are children. Which ones do we need to emphasize and which ones do we need to toss out?
Mankind, He has told you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly, to love faithfulness
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 HCSB
These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
I will be careful to live a blameless life…I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.
Psalm 101:2 NIV