Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Example Worth Following

Today's post is by one of my best friends, Christina.  I'd love for you to check out her new site and follow her!

As a mother, I often find myself thinking about my hopes for my three sons.  I think we all have an idea of what qualities we’d like our children to acquire as they mature.  I want my boys to grow up to be self-disciplined, hard working, successful, and confident (yet humble).  I also want them to be generous, kind, loving, brave, loyal, and thoughtful men with a sense of justice, just to name a few…(LOL)!  These sure are a lot for a parent to cover, and yet there is not one of these characteristics I’d want to fail at developing in my children.  Thankfully, I have a secret weapon that equips me and keeps me from being overwhelmed at the task at hand.  Want to know the secret?  Pssstt…it’s the Word of God!  I have a peace that comes from knowing that if I raise my children to love, serve, and fear the Lord, all the bases will be covered.
Check out a couple of the promises God offers us in these following verses…
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.
Prov 22:6 

I have decided to concentrate on these things and trust that everything else will fall into place, since I know that the word of God will not return to me void….so is the word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11).

The Lord has shown me that the best way I can achieve these goals for my children is by being a living example.  Ask yourself, “What part of how I’m living right now needs to change?  What don’t I want reproduced?” Show me, Lord. The saying that “More is caught than taught” contains a lot of truth, and I want my children to “catch” a taste for righteous living during these precious, impressionable years that they are under my care.  
Below are some actions and relevant bible verses that come to mind …
Forgive others
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 
Share with others
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:16 

Always speak cheerfully
Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Philippians 2:14 

Only tell the truth
Do not steal.  Do not lie.  Do not deceive one another.
Leviticus 19:11

Be thankful for what you have
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Philippians 4:11b 

Do what you know is right
Anyone, then, who know the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
James 4:17 

Be slow to anger
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
Proverbs 14:29 

Some of these virtues come easily and others…well, not so much. But even in my moments of failure, I can still be that living example that glorifies God.  You see, there will come a time when my children will fail.  I want them to understand that we all fall short and know that if they repent and ask forgiveness, the slate will be wiped clean.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.  So, when I mess up as a parent, I say, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me”.
Life is about understanding that we all will inevitably miss the mark… that we will undoubtedly struggle to consistently walk the straight and narrow. The balance, however, is not in dwelling on these realities, but recognizing that in the uncertainty there is a hand to guide and a love to encourage.

So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise; make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to.  Ephesians 5: 1-2

Christina enjoys being a wife, and stay at home mother to 3 active boys, ages 10, 3, and 16 months.  She seeks to honor the Lord in all she does, and is especially interested in natural health and wellness, building healthy relationships, homeschooling, and being thrifty.  She loves to get involved in creative endeavors of all sorts, and shares her experiences and ideas on her blog, My Proverbial Shoes.