In church last weekend, as I was singing during praise and worship, I couldn’t help sensing that my nine year old was staring at me. Sure enough, as I turned towards her, she had her eyes firmly fixed on me, just quietly watching as I sang along. Wondering what she was thinking, or why she was staring, I leaned down to ask her. She simply replied, “No reason Mom, I’m just watching you.”
What a powerful revelation to be made aware of! It made me wonder just how often my children “watch” me. And when they are watching me, am I setting a good example, or am I so oblivious to their subtle observations that I sometimes slip up? Would I regret things that I have said and done had I known they were watching?
I’d be lying if I said that I was the perfect parent, always doing good in front of my children and never failing to act with the utmost integrity. It’s simply not true. But if I can remind myself that I often have an extra set of eyes quietly following me, I might be more inclined to take greater care in what I say and do.
A few verses to consider, regarding parenting (and setting an example), include:
- Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not part from it.
- Matthew 5:14,16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden……In the same way, let your light shine before men (and your children), that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
- Deuteronomy 6: 6,7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.
- Deuteronomy 11:18,19 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Final thoughts: there is a television show currently airing on AFN; it’s called the American Bible Challenge, and it’s a game show that tests the biblical knowledge of contestants who are all vying to win money for chosen charities. I love this game, because it draws everyone in for the challenge (the contestants, the audience, and those at home watching). As my daughters and I watched the other night, I was ahead on points and gloating over my “unofficial” win. Both girls laughed, but then my youngest, in all seriousness, suggested that I should try and get a spot on the show as a contestant.
I had to explain that a) signing up to be a contestant on the show might prove trickier than she thought, and b) I think I got a little lucky with the questions that were answered. Honestly, I don’t know all the answers, and I don’t know the bible as well as I’d like to. But I do spend time trying to find answers and trying to learn God’s word, and if that is one of the things that my children observe me doing, then that’s at least one thing I’m doing right.