Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Children Are Watching You

After supper a few nights ago, my son came bouncing into the kitchen in his jammies, sporting his Mickey Mouse tie in the most dignified way.  His head was held high, with his biggest grin spread across his face.  In his hand he held a children's Bible the way a pastor would hold his own copy of the word.  He announced - time for church!

Trying hard not to laugh at the site of his outfit, or the goofy grin on his face, but still wanting him to see my appreciation and excitement, I followed him into the living room where he had the lights off except for the "stage" lights, mantel lights above the fireplace for you amateurs out there.  My 4 year old daughter, not to be left out of this escapade, she was dressed in a summer dress with her Easter hat... and was "backstage"... coming and going "to go get stuff the preacher needs."  I'm not sure who she's been watching.

The church service began with announcements, then offering (which he had to bring his own and give me some to put in the offering plate because I'd come to church unprepared!) He blessed the offering, then counted it while the youngest lead us in Jesus Loves MeI'm telling you, these kids are watching us!  Then my most favorite part... my son opened up his Bible and read the part of the story of David and Goliath to the congregation (me... my daughter was still doin' her thing backstage).  He got tired of reading, so I then explained to him about paraphrasing... which he then asked if Bro. Moore, our pastor, did that in his sermons! 

Children are watching you.  They watch to see if you are practicing what you are telling them.  They look to see if those rules apply only to children, or "grown ups" as well.

They are watching to see how you react to certain situations.  If you over react during a stressful situation, your children will think this is the norm.  Or, do you turn to the Word for advice and comfort?  Do your children see you pray in the good times and the bad?  I hadn't thought a lot about this before, but as a mom, I typically try to have my private time with the Lord when my kids are not awake... or paying attention to me.  But I was convicted of this.  My children need to see me in the Word.  They need that example in their life. 

As a teenager, I remember walking into my mother's bedroom most mornings before it was time for her to leave for work and she would be kneeling by her bed with her devotional Bible.  Many times I would walk in while she was praying.  It didn't really mean that much to me at that point, but that has stayed with me all those years and means so much to me now.

Thinking back even further, as a young child, I can remember my dad falling asleep at his desk on his study Bible.  He seemed to know EVERYTHING about the Bible and I would wonder to myself how someone could ever possibly know so much about God's Word.  It just seemed natural that if my dad was at home, he'd obviously be reading something Bible related... I thought this was standard.

Yes, children ARE watching us.  My children are watching me.  My children are watching other people as well, and it's my responsibility as a parent to make sure I am a good example and the others my children are around are also good examples.  I don't know about you, but for me, nothing in all the world compares to the joy in my heart when I hear my children pray and talk about their relationship with the Lord. 

I am thankful for those that I know my children have been watching that are a godly example to them.  My prayer is that my children will see my husband and I as godly examples in their lives and in the generations to come.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 
- Proverbs 22:6        

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