We all know well the saying "Do as I say, not as I do." I never want those words to come out of my mouth. But that's the thing about kids, though. They will learn a WHOLE lot more about how life operates by WATCHING mine, than by what I SAY.
I agree that children are easily led. And sometimes, related to spiritual things, I think they should "get it" because they hear it all the time. We are constantly in church, or Bible study at the church building. Their homeschool curriculum is FULL of references and teachings of the Bible. We're missionaries for crying out loud! Their Dad teaches in the Bible Institute here and preaches every Sunday. Mom teaches all their classes at church. How can they not learn that God is important to us?
Well, I am the one who is with them all the time. It's me they watch and learn from. They are all girls, so I am their role model for what a wife and mother is supposed to look like. What am I really teaching them through my actions?
It's great to tell them that Jesus is number one in my life. It's another thing all together to live it so they aren't confused. Just because I say something out loud doesn't make it true. If I believe that He is number one in my life, and I am striving to keep Him there, I should be able to back up that statement with how I live.
I cannot teach my children that God answers prayer and will heal their hurts if I never pray with them or for them. It's fine to say that the Bible is important, but do they see me reading it? I know many times I like to have my devotions over with before the kids get up in the morning. But my children need to see me living what I tell them. I need to take time to share the Word of God with them outside of regular commitments like school and church.
Do I make the time to listen to each of their needs, find what they may be struggling with, and help them bring it before the Lord, expecting Him to take care of it? When they are disciplined, do I take the time to help them confess their error to our loving and forgiving Savior so they can feel the release of guilt over having done wrong? Are there weak areas in my life that may be affecting how my children view the Christian faith? Or God in general?
What about my attitude? Do I serve my family with happiness and thanksgiving that they are all healthy and we have been abundantly blessed? Do I take the time to point out answers to prayer? How about when we're driving and we see the handiwork of God all around us, do I remind them of His power and creativity?
Do I keep a clean house as a testimony to my children that I love and care for them? And that I do it to show their father how much I love him? Do they get that? Do the Prince and I show our love through hugs and kisses in front of them? Do I tell them I love them, and prove it by spending time on the floor putting puzzles together or braiding the hair of every Barbie in the house?
How about what I choose to spend my time doing? Do I make the time to cheerfully help when they have a question, or am I put out that they need me again? Are the shows they see me watch on tv (well, if we had one) things that contradict what I've taught them? Do the movies we watch as a family show them how careful I want to be with what they are exposed to?
There are so many areas where I can show my children that God is there, He loves us, and He should be important in our lives. How I live is MORE important than what I say.
Remember this verse?
Pro 31:1 "The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him."
We have this chapter of Proverbs which speaks so wonderfully to the role of women because a mother took the time to teach her son things she thought important.
What have I taught my children today?