You may be a parent. You may be a grandparent. You may be an uncle, aunt, older sibling, or cousin, or you may just be a friend of the family. No matter who you are, young eyes are watching you. They watch you when you are angry. They watch you when you are frustrated. They see how you handle disappointment, success, pain, pleasure, anxiety, and peace. They are watching and learning.
What are you teaching the children in your actions?
The last couple years hasn’t been an easy for anyone, no matter who you are. Plans that were made, well, we can forget about them. Resolutions we made on January 1st? Yes, we can forget about those as well. To one degree or another, we have experienced disappointment and unmet expectations in these last couple years. During all of this, many of us have been at home with our families more than usual. If you are married and have kids, this likely has been a particular challenge. As we continue to adjust to this situation, how have our attitudes been?
Have we expressed fear? Then we are teaching our children that God is not in control and does not keep His children safe.
Have we expressed anger? Then we are teaching them that God is not giving us what we “deserve”.
Have we expressed frustration? Then we are teaching them that God is cruelly thwarting the plans we made for our lives.
Have we loudly and continually condemned against those who disagree with us in the many debates of the day? Then we are teaching them that God only cares about those who agree with you.
Christians, we must be careful about how our words represent God to our children. Remember that God has put them in our lives so that we can be His representatives to them, and so that we can teach them the love Him and abide by His Word. If we instead smother the influence of God and display un-Christlike characteristics to them, we are wasting this precious time and filling their minds with a twisted view of who God is.
Instead, let us determine to follow the command of God that he gave to the Hebrews:
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).