Have you ever heard the phrase “do as I say, not as I do”? It’s easy to think of this as a humorous take on parenting. Maybe we tell our kids to “limit the screen time” while we stay glued to our phones watching the latest viral video. Or perhaps we tell them “no dessert” but sneak a little ice cream for ourselves after they’re in bed.
When it comes to parenting, we can be certain that none of us are perfect at it and never will be.
But it’s important to remember that whether we like it or not, children follow the adults in their lives (not just parents), so it’s important to give them something great to follow. Early on in my marriage, when we only had two kids, I decided to moon my wife. I didn’t think my kids were around. That weekend at church, my Children’s Pastor came up to me and told me that my three-year-old daughter, Kadi, mooned some of her friends. I wasn’t the best example to my kid in that moment. We need to show children around us good examples, and who could be a better example to follow than Jesus?
During his ministry, Jesus provided clear instruction on being a good role model. We can take this advice to heart as a parent, guardian, teacher, coach, or however we may be involved in a child’s life.
In Luke 6:39-40, Jesus said, “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”
Being involved in a child’s life means more than telling them what to do — it means being a real influence. And that influence comes from actions, not words.
Now if you’re like me, you’ve pulled “Do as I say, not as I do” before. That doesn’t mean you should give up on being the parent God made you to be. By accepting His grace, you can achieve the good things He has planned for you! (see)
And it doesn’t hurt to have resources to help you along the way. I recommend downloading thefor information, blogs, and podcasts. I also recommend prayerfully engaging in the “Children” devotional in the Life Transformation Bible this week.
For more guidance on Christ-centered parenting, check out my latest talk at Alive Church: Parenting Life Hacks.