"In everything set them an example by doing what is good."
The Holy Bible (Tit. 2:7)
Few days back, my wife and two kids, along with my friend Benjamin, were on our way to buy groceries for our training centre. As I was driving, a person riding a bike popped up in front of our vehicle; holding his bike’s handle with two hands, he was speaking on his mobile phone. How could he do that? He clasped his phone with his head fully bent over the right shoulder, and as expected, he couldn’t drive his bike properly and confused us who were at his back.
Feeling a bit frustrated, I commented to my wife, “Look at that fellow’s driving!” My eldest son, Joy (six years old), immediately exclaimed from back, “Papa you speak likewise on phone while driving bike!” My wife too affirmed his constructive criticism. It was like a slap on my face. I was silenced and had to accept his correction.
(We parents often think about shaping our children, but believe me, if we let the all-wise God, He often uses our children to mould our character. I am glad that having children helped me to change a lot. I got rid of many unhealthy things, even some good but may not be best for my family.)
What I learned is this—children are always watching us and how we live before them speak louder to them than our words.
How about us? How are our lives before our Children? Although at times I have failed, I don’t want to say something in front of my children or to them and do the opposite. I am aware the foremost way I can influence my children or earn their sincere respect is—not by the use of demand for being their parent, but by living an honest and genuine life before them. Ray Comfort made a gutsy statement, “The key to having your children respect what you say is for them to respect the one who is doing the saying. Nothing dissipates respect like hypocrisy. I would rather lose my right arm than have one of my children consider me a hypocrite.”
Don’t you suppose there are many parents who may be considered hypocrites by their children? You know, our lives are transparent before our children, whether we like it or not. We almost become real before them, leaving the phony part of our lives. And children respect us, even imitate, when they don’t find contradiction between our words and deeds. Do we earnestly desire our children to find consistency between our words and actions, not contradictions? O Lord, enable us to live our life like a bright shining light, not like a fleeting shadow.
Well, the other day, as we were having family supper, I noticed my son licking his fingers by sweeping the gravy on his plate. To be honest with you, it is something unconventional. I looked at him and asked, “Joy, do you know why I don’t correct this act in you?” He paused for a moment, looked at me with an amused smile and replied, “Because I learned this from you!”:-)
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