What do you desire for your children? Don’t have any, you say. We all have children; whether they are our biological children, adopted children or children the Lord has placed in our path of influence. One of the biggest influences in my life growing up was a lady who lived in across the street from us.
I desire for my children to grow up to be passionate followers of Christ who have a hunger for His Word and a burning desire to be in His presence. I am doing everything in my power to “stack the deck” so to speak so they will turn out that way. How am I doing that? Well, think back to when you tried to teach your children to do anything as a toddler.
When I wanted to teach my children to clean up their toys, I got down in the floor with them and demonstrated how to clean up their toys and helped them do it until they mastered the concept and could do it themselves. I praised them for every positive step towards the goal. When I wanted my children to clean up their dinner dishes after dinner, I cleaned up mine and demonstrated how it was done and they soon followed my example.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” We train our children by example. If you want your child to have a life of prayer, let them see you pray. If you want a child to run to Jesus for comfort instead of food, alcohol or others let them see you run to Jesus. If you want your child to look in the Word of God to find answers to life’s questions, let them see you searching for answers in the Word of God. Your actions speak louder than any words you’re speaking. My mother used to say to me, “Susan, your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
Elisha didn’t learn to be a mighty man of God by reading a “How to” book. He learned by living life with Elijah and doing what He did. In 2 Kings 2:2 Elisha refused to stay behind while Elijah went elsewhere to do the work of God. In 2 Kings 2:4 Elijah told Elisha to wait while he went to Jericho and Elisha refused. Elisha knew if he was to become a mighty man of God, he needed to spend time with Elijah, watch what he did and live in the same manner.
In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul tells Timothy “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Timothy became the man he was because of the influence of his mother and grandmother as a young child and then because of Paul’s influence as an adult. Paul wasn’t related to Timothy, yet had a profound impact on his life.
How are you living your life today? If someone is following your example, would they be following after Jesus? If not, spend some time with Him today and ask Him what needs to change.