I sat there and wept. My heart was broken…again. The same person trampled my soul with her cruel words and careless actions for the umpteenth time. Does she not see what she is doing? Does she really not care? Is she not aware of how she continues to crush my spirit? I only wish she had taken the time to truly know my heart…but she never did. And here I am again, broken. My daughter, Sarah, has witnessed such accounts more than I ever wished she had. And I know it breaks her heart as well, to see her mommy so sad and wounded. She embraces me and hands me a piece of paper. I look at what she has written and my tears fall afresh. I know this is the fruit of what I have encouraged and cultivated within my kids. I know this is His faithfulness to me. This piece of paper begins the healing of my shattered heart. How did I get this treasure of a daughter? What did I ever do? Yes, I know a huge part is God’s grace. But it also has to do with the intentions and purposefulness of my husband and me. Here are 5 Ways To Set A Good Example For Your Kids.
In The Beginning
I had no clue how to be a Godly mother when my first child was born. I look back on those days and I am so thankful for God’s grace. I’d get frustrated (still do) when life got hard. I’d feel discouraged as a mom (still do sometimes). I’d wonder if my kids would end up in therapy or on Jerry Springer (not anymore 😉 ). I was on my own to figure out how to be a Godly mother. Well, I suppose not truly alone since I had the Holy Spirit, but you know what I mean.
When fantastic Godly parenting wisdom is set at my feet, I am going to be quick to receive it! I hope that you feel the same.
Setting An Example
Last year, I went through a Child Training Boot Camp Bible study with Pam Forster from Doorposts. She is a wealth of wisdom when it comes to being a Godly mother! Day 8 of this study gave some thought-provoking questions about me being a good example for my kids. These questions could be easy to just gloss over and never think about again, but will that be truly helpful for me as a mother? If I genuinely wanted to be the mother God intended me to be, then it was essential for me to dig deep, search my heart and ask God to reveal any areas of disobedience. From these questions, I realized that my responses indicated where I stood on the role model continuum.
My Children See That I Love God’s Word
I can quote and memorize God’s Word all I want, but if I don’t sincerely love His Word, then my children probably won’t either. At least, they won’t because of me. They see that I love His Word when I apply it to my life. They see my love for scripture when I read my Bible – I also write on my pages and have tons of sticky notes in various places. To my children, this is how they see my love of God’s Word. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t write in your Bible or have as many stickies as I have that you love His Word less than I do. It is simply what my children see as an example in my life. You have to grow in your own love of His Word. When you do, your children will notice, trust me. They will. And they will notice if you are faking it, too.
They See Me Understanding God’s Word
Sometimes the Bible can be confusing, right? One thing I love about Pam’s studies is that she gets us
readers students to work through word studies. I love this part! This really helps me to understand the context and the meaning of certain words. When I have a firm understanding of God’s Word, it gets rooted deeper within my heart. It is then that I can better teach my children the Word of the Lord.
Will we ever fully grasp all that is contained in that Holy book? No, not until we get to heaven. But that is part of growing and developing our faith, isn’t it? Understanding that we need to keep understanding His Word. My children see me seeking more understanding of God’s Word and they will know that searching for comprehension is part of working out their salvation.
They See Me Obey God’s Word
They are watching me to see if I ignore God’s instruction or if I heed them. If I disregard God’s commands in my life, it will seem to give them ‘permission’ to overlook His instruction as well. That is an awesome responsibility as a parent! If I choose to disobey, then why should they obey? And, in turn, why should they obey my husband and me? My children’s obedience to the Lord and to my husband and me begins with my obedience to the Lord.
They See Me Trusting God In My Life
Trusting God takes time…a lot of time. I know when I am not trusting God…when I feel anxious; when I feel hopeless…I am not trusting Him. However, when I am at peace, I know I am trusting Him with my circumstances. I must be intentional about trusting Him, though. It doesn’t just happen. It takes work on my part. And I am still growing in this area. It is my hope and prayer that my kids will begin to learn to trust God now, as children; because they see me trusting in Him.
When I put my trust in God, it seems to make it easier for me to identify with my kids where God has proved Himself faithful to them. They can easily see where God has been working in their own lives. Eventually, I don’t have to point it out to them, they recognize His hand of grace on their own. They come to me and tell me how God has been redeeming them, how He has healed them, how He has helped them. They seem to be very aware of how God is working in their lives.
They See When I Need To Repent And Change
Ohhh…what do you think about that one? Have you ever been in conflict with someone who absolutely refuses to admit that they are wrong? I have, many times…and the result of that is me not wanting to admit when I am wrong…because I have been told too many times that I am completely at fault and to blame. It takes courage to admit when we are wrong. It takes, even more, bravery to repent AND to change. It’s one thing to apologize, but to actually change the behaviour…well, that is true repentance.
My desire is for my children to recognize when they have fallen into sin, observe the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent and turn away from their sin…immediately. I want them to run to the Cross instead of sitting in their filth. However, if I fail to repent and change, then how can I expect them to do so? Not only do I show them the importance of true repentance through my own actions, I also teach them how to repent and change.
Seeing The Fruit
How do I know my examples above have been fruitful? One way is through my little story at the beginning of this post. It was written on that piece of paper my daughter gave to me when I was in despair. She had written out several scripture verses for me…reminders of God’s love for me. Reminders of who I am in Christ. Reminders to trust in Him. Reminders of the truth in God’s Word and why I have come to love those precious scriptures.
This is just one of the ways in which I know my example has made a difference in the lives of my children. When my children speak Truth to my broken heart.
What fruit have you seen in your children? Are you watching for it?
Which of the above areas do you need to work on in your life?
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