Read: “Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.” 1 John 3:18 (GW)
Reflect: As my kids get older I get more tempted to lecture them. They are old enough to understand deeper concepts and mature enough to understand the why’s behind our rules. Yet, as they get to the point where they can hear a lecture, I have found that they aren’t listening. Ironic right? When they were young enough to hang on my every word, they couldn’t understand much more than “no!” and now they can understand but don’t care.
Such is parenting.
The biggest thing I have witnessed is that way more is caught than taught. They, even as teens and tweens, replicate my behavior and tone of living way more than they will adhere to a set rule. So when I bring peace, calmness, patience and thoughtfulness to my home, the kids will follow. Similarly, when I am uptight, irritable and unkind, they follow suit. This has challenged me to seek my strength and fullness from God as only he can produce this kind of living in my life.
I have seen first hand that my upward life (relationship with God) impacts my inward life (the state of my soul), which directly affects my outward life to my kids. And then I lecture less and live rightfully and this makes a much bigger difference on my parenting.
React: What behaviors in your own life would you most like your kids to imitate? Are you teaching them to live this way? What can you do this week to focus on your upward and inward life?
Pray: God, help us live out the way we want to parent. Help us teach our kids through our actions.