IT'S YOUR LIFESTYLE
"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises"
There are many wonderful resources and curriculums for you to use in teaching your children, aren’t there. However, apart from God's living Word, what do you think is your most powerful teaching tool? Can I tell you what I believe it is?
It's your lifestyle!
I am always challenged at the way Paul tells the new believers to observe and follow him. He was God's living example for them to emulate.
1 Corinthians 4:15, 16: "For thou ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." Because Paul brought them to birth, he was responsible to show them the way. Because we bring our children to birth, we also have the same responsibility to show them how to live.
1 Corinthians 11:1: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
Philippians 3:17 (JBP): "Let my example be the standard by which you can tell who are the genuine Christians among those about you." Do your children see that your walk with God is real? They see through hypocrisy easily. Your life should be such an example that it will expose the fake and sham in other lives. Your life will show them the true way.
Philippians 4:9: "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God peace shall be with you." Can we say these words to our children? "Children, watch me closely. What you see me do; this is what God wants you to do. The words you hear me speak each day; these are the kind of words God wants you to speak."
Your children learn more from watching you and your husband than from all the curriculums you will ever purchase. You teach them how to have a successful marriage (or an unhappy one) by the way you and your husband relate and show love to each other. My parents gave me an amazing example of a godly marriage. This set my husband and me on a wonderful marriage for over 50 years so far. Colin and I have never been to a marriage seminar. We learned it by example which is the most powerful way.
When we commit to establishing Family Devotions in our family, our children become aware that we honor God's Word. It’s not enough for us to go to church on Sunday or Saturday, but our children need to know and observe that we can’t get through one day without the sustenance of God's precious Word. When we make it a commitment to read the Word and pray together morning and evening, they know that we truly are Bible believers and praying parents.
If your children do not see you honoring the Word of God each day, will they think it is something worth studying and reading? If we do not gather with them to pray together every day, will they get a vision for prayer?
The children see by our lifestyle what is important to us. What do they see? A materialistic attitude, rushing here and there without purpose, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and following the crowd? Or do they truly see that God is the priority in our lives?
Your children gain convictions about the sanctity of life by observing your attitude about children. If your attitude is against having more children, they subconsciously imbibe that children are a commodity to have according to your plans, rather than gifts to be embraced by God because of His eternal plan.
What about eating together at the table? Even in homeschooling families, this biblical tradition (Psalm 128:3) is often lost today as they get caught up in all their extra-curricular activities. I know that all these activities are very good. Satan, the deceiver, never entices us with things that are evil, but with things that are “good, pleasant, and wise” (Genesis 3:6).
If we don’t sit together for meals, what do we teach our children? What example do we give them for when they establish their family life? Will they grow up eating in front of the TV or the run? Will the next generation lose this biblical pattern?
Your children learn the true roles of male and female by watching your lifestyle. I didn’t need to go to a seminar on this subject either. I saw it clearly in the lives of my parents. My mother loved being a mother and homemaker and was a godly, submissive wife (although full of spark and forever getting the giggles and seeing the funny side of things)! My father was a real man (not a trace of wimpiness in him). He was known as a man’s man in a man’s world. But did he want my mother to compete with him? No. He reveled in her femaleness and the beautiful feminine clothes she sewed. She always dressed like a queen and he was so proud of femininity.
It’s amazing what theological truths we teach our children in our daily lives. When your husband sits at the head of table each evening, the children subconsciously become aware that he is the head of the home. And when he leads them in Family Devotions, the children understand that he is the priest and leader of the home.
You prepare your children for life by your daily attitudes and how you cope in times of stress. They observe whether you trust God, even when you can't see the answer to your problem, or whether you cave in because you trust in your own resources.
1 Thessalonians 1:6: "Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost." As the new believers watched Paul and followed his lifestyle, they learned how to follow the Lord. This is the way your children will learn to follow the Lord. They will imitate your lifestyle, for good or for bad, for blessing or destruction.
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
"Dear heavenly Father, You have given me children from the womb and from birth to raise for you. Please help me to be a true example of how you want them to walk. Help me to follow you closely so as they copy my life they will walk in Your will and truth. Amen."
I am my children's example.