Our children become who we are, not what we tell them they should be.
Reality is, we are our kid’s first glimpse of God so what we do is just as important as what we say. When our kids see us, they need to see Jesus. How they perceive us is how they will perceive God.
If we’re angry all the time, they see God as angry. If they can never achieve enough, they get a B and you think they should have gotten an A – then they will see God as someone who is impossible to please.
I always felt loved by my Dad. I knew I was his little girl. However, at the same time I always felt like I never quite measured up no matter how hard I tried. I was an only child and I’m not sure if the fact I was a girl disappointed him or what. I just always was haunted with the feeling I wasn’t good enough, I remember one time I got all As and he asked if my school gave A+s. I must admit I struggle to this day with the fear that God sees me as not measuring up.
Our job is to train, model, coach and be an example in qualities like faithfulness, forgiveness, respect for authority, honesty, responsibility, and gratefulness.
Training is instruction and demonstration with a specific result in mind.
Our intended result is seeing that the character of Christ is formed in our kids, and that they have a personal relationship with Him and learn how to make wise life choices.
I think this passage from the Message says it so well.
‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.’ Romans 12:1-2 msg
As parents and leaders, we are influencing everyone we encounter. Someone is watching our life. The question is not am I influencing someone? It’s how am I influencing them?
When we first became Christians our best friends thought we were crazy and just on another hair-brained wild one. Over the next 3 years we saw them now and then and always showed them the love of Jesus, but didn’t preach at them. Finally Debbie agreed to go to church with me an during one of the songs fell into my arms sobbing as she accepted Christ. They had watched us those years and saw that the changes God had made in us were real. They both came to Christ and follow Him to this day.
That’s the power of influence and being genuine. People are watching you. Your kids are watching you. That does not mean you have to be perfect. But you should be growing in the right direction. You should always be improving yourself, reading, listening to teachings, serving, spending time in God’s presence, and keeping yourself stirred up in the Lord. When you do these things, you’ll find you initiate the butterfly effect. The Butterfly Theory was developed by Edward Norton Lorenz a mathematician and meteorologist who was on of the first to propose the chaos theory. Lorenz speculated that if a butterfly flapped its wings in South America it would effect the weather in Texas. This is how our influence effects our kids the small things we do or don’t do, good or bad, have huge ramifications on their lives. Live like their lives depend on it, because they do.