What Kind of Example are We Setting for Our Children?

SYLVIA McCRORY     MAY 2020

Mark Twain once said, “Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

Let me first say we are all easily swayed by the world we live in and trying ridiculously hard to live up to the standards we have set for ourselves and our families. I am just as guilty as anyone.  But with age comes an understanding of priorities, and how precious our time on earth really is.  This has been made more real to me with the death of my mother a few years ago.  

As Christian parents many of us try to combine the values of the world with Godly values. We use other Christian parents as our guide and example.  We fool ourselves into believing the two value systems can work in unison if we try hard enough. Sadly, this is a lie.  Now the problem is how long will we live the lie, and will we teach our children the same lie? The values of the world and the values of God are two separate systems.

What Do We Really Value?

  1. How do we spend our time?  

Take a minute to think about it. I would even encourage you to write your schedule out.  Then with each activity ask; “Why?”  Why do I do this activity, what is the purpose? Is it to buy something bigger and better?  Is it to help someone? What is reason you are willing to devote your precious time to this activity?

  1. How do we view the world?

How easily are we swayed by worldly views? Are we becoming more materialistic? 

  1. What are our children learning from our example?

Do we value things above people? Are we spending our time on social media?

  1. Are we allowing social media to influence us?

We have always been influenced by others.  In the past, it was commercials on TV, sometimes it was an article we read or a picture we saw, or it could have been a friend or family member.  We listen to other people tell us what is best for us.  But now the times are much different. Most people are on social media for hours at a time, each day.  So much of our world today and especially social media is showing how happy we will be if we are richer, thinner, wear certain clothes, shop at specific stores. Are these things influencing our decisions?

  1. Are we allowing our phones and social media to swallow up our time? 

This is one of the biggest concerns I have for parents today.  Before the coronavirus, I was in a restaurant observing a mother with her son, who looked to be around eight or nine years old.  The child was trying to talk to the mother, but the mother rarely responded, and never looked up from her phone to talk with her child.  As always, my question is “Why?”  Why was someone or something on that phone more important than a child right in front of her? 

I try to avoid social media, although not everything on it is bad. The problem is the amount of time we spend on social media could be spent on Bible Study or with our children.  

  1. Are we good stewards of our money?

Do we put ourselves first and God last or not at all?


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What is Important to God?

  1. Is the Bible our Guide?

Do we spend time studying the Bible each day, search God’s word for His will for us?  What does our family Bible study time look like, how much of our precious time are we willing to give to God?  Do we encourage our children to have Bible study time?

 

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.   Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV)

  1. What do we value? What do we love the most?

“The most important one” (commandment), answered Jesus “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these.”   Mark 12:29-31 (NIV)

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  I Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)

  1. Have courage to be different from the world.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.   I John 2:15-17 (NIV)

  1. Do we hold grudges, and anger against others?

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.   Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

  1. Are we learning to be Humble?

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.   James 4:6 (NIV)

Humility is hard to find in the world today.  We are so proud of our ourselves, we want to post every picture of every event for the world to see.  Jesus clearly teaches us to be humble.  

 

As parents we should strive to live Godly lives and train our children in a way pleasing to God.  Our children are learning more from the way we live than what we say.  Our lives are living examples. Our children are watching and learning from each day.

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