Whether we realize it or not, our children are always watching us. They are watching how we react to situations, how we talk to and/or about people, and what we expose ourselves to. You are a book that they read and gain knowledge from throughout the course of their lives! Every chapter you live out provides valuable lessons that have the power to influence their decisions as they go through their own life chapters. Therefore, as parents, it is crucial to give our children the right content that will help them maneuver through life hopefully more easily and effectively than we’ve had to!
So, what daily lessons are you teaching at home? Are you consistent? Many times parents can act a certain way when they are in public but are different people in their own house. They can be happy and helpful when dealing with others, but then have no energy, patience, or joy left for their own loved ones. Don’t allow the demands of everyday life to make you lose focus on what really matters! Staying consistent within and outside the home makes a huge difference on how our children will perceive us. And how you are at home should be your primary focus because who you are at home is who you really are!
If you aren’t sure how you are doing in this area, look at and listen to your kids more closely. I say this because children have a way of revealing parts of our character and personality by imitating some of our own behaviors and attitudes. This is sometimes refreshing to see when the traits are positive, but it can also help us to recognize areas to work on when they’re not. And if your children are often making similar comments about you such as “Mom, you’re always grumpy in the morning!” or “Dad, why are you never home on the weekends?” then it’s time to take notice and make a change! These may sound like minor issues, but they can easily lead to big regrets if continuously ignored.
We should be making every effort to create a more positive, holy spirit-filled environment within our home; one that demonstrates love and reverence for our Heavenly Father through all of our words and actions. In Psalm 101:1-2, King David proclaims, “I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life…I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.” Children need to hear us talking about God and all the goodness He brings. They need to hear us praising Him and praying to Him. They need to see us walking with integrity and obedience. Don’t ever underestimate the power and influence you have as a parent to shape the hearts and minds of your children even when their actions don’t seem to match up right away. When you are intentionally “training up a child in the way that he should go,” by faith you can believe that “when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)!”
Parents have a tremendous responsibility to raise up a God-fearing, world-changing, wholesome generation! As children of God ourselves, however, even WE can mess up at times and not feel worthy of such a high calling. When this happens, recognize it for what it is—a lie from the enemy; then get up and move forward with even greater determination to do better! The truth is, that is one of the biggest lessons we can teach.