Two weeks ago I had a friend ask me what I was doing in Biblical training with my boys. My first response was reading from the children’s Bible each day and that was about all my youngsters would probably understand at this age. I’ve been thinking about this question ever since she asked it. I actually do more than just reading about God. Teaching my children to obey me and their father with first time obedience, acting kind toward others and sharing in the responsibilities of picking up are all things that help my children learn biblical principles.
What captured my thoughts recently is my own behavior. Everyone knows the old saying that actions speak louder than words, but I don’t think about it on a day to day basis. The moral training of my children really begins with me and how I act. Take for example cleaning up. My boys see my picking up toys as we go along and right before nap time when they help put a few toys away. Often I’m sighing or rushing through to get them to bed before it gets too late or rushing hastily to get everyone out the door so we aren’t late to an appointment. After watching me day after day be rushed, grumpy or apathetic about cleanup, why do I think my boys would cleanup with happy hearts? The other example just might be alittle harder for me to break. When my husband is home, we ask each other to do things. Much of the time we are so busy that we say, yea I’ll do it in just a few minutes. Rarely do we put aside what we are doing and take care of the request. What are my boys seeing? Mommy and daddy don’t obey when first asked. In fact, mommy or daddy usually has to ask the other parent a second or third time before it gets done. And I expect my children to obey me upon the first time that I instruct them?
Humbling to look at my own life and see that I am not measuring up to my own standards. Well I’m not going to lower those standards. The right thing to do is make sure that I’m modeling the very things that I’m saying to do. It is true that my boys are still too young to get many theological ideas. Learning that mommy can be trusted in what she says as well as what I do provides the foundation for my boys to trust the more advanced Biblical and moral training when that time comes. I won’t be perfect in my example, thanks to my sin nature, and what a wonderful opportunity for my boys to see mommy ask for forgiveness when I do fail. My hope is that with my example, I too will see my boys become humble and go to the Lord who grants grace and mercy to anyone who seeks it. As God’s Word declares, His mercies are new every morning.