Lately, I have become acutely aware of how much my daughter is watching and copying me. For instance, when I snap a photo she immediately “poses” and puts her hand on her hip…just… like… me. I chuckle, and think, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Or, when I sneak away for my circuit training workout she will find me and plant herself beside me to do her “pushups.” “Cute,” I think as I pat myself on the back for setting a good example of discipline. But, then there are the times she follows my example as she pretends to talk on her play phone while I’m giving her directions and then holds a finger up and says with annoyance “give me a SECOND…okay!” Ouch…Cringe.
Children are such wonderful mirrors. Thinking through this, I was reminded again of who it is that I “follow” and who am I modeling for my daughter? Two verses came to mind. First, Jesus said in John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. Secondly, in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Both verses have a challenge as well as a rich and eternal promise! The Bible often refers to us as “sheep” and Jesus as our loving, faithful, and protective “Shepherd.” As a Christ follower we have peace knowing that he has granted us eternal life and the security of being protected by him. Likewise, our precious children are our sheep. What better way to lead them than to model what it looks like to know and follow Jesus Christ. The second verse says Jesus is the light of this world. Jesus was claiming that He is the exclusive source of spiritual light. Following Jesus is the condition of two promises. First, His followers will never walk in darkness, which is a reference to the assurance of salvation we enjoy. The second promise is that we will reflect the Light of Life. Just as He came as the Light of the world, He commands us to be “lights,” too. The Light is evident to our children by the good deeds we do in faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This month, let’s be diligent in showing our children in practical ways who we follow and who is the source of our “light.” Below are some easy ways to start:
- Read a toddler-age appropriate Bible with them.
- Memorize a verse that deals specifically with any issue you/they are struggling with… Let them see Jesus is practical!
- Pray with them and about things that concern/involve them.
- Thank Jesus continually in front of them.
- Ask specifically how did Jesus speak to them today?
- Take time to read his word, and show our children that we pray and we seek God first for direction and decision-making.
Chandy Kelley, Faith and Family Coordinator