Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be what you want your children to become

I have read many parenting parenting parenting articles...participated in parenting studies...and yet nothing has spoken to my heart more than eight simple words of wisdom by Chip Ingram.

Be what you want your children to become

"If there is one thing, one truth I want them [parents] to hold on to more than any other: be what you want your children to become. The most powerful agent of life change is modeling. That doesn't mean you're perfect, but it means you own it when you blow. So I would say to parents: you can make a ton of mistakes, love covers a multitude of sins. But if you would say, "I am going to be the greatest Christian I can by God's grace" and if you will be what you want them to become, if you will model it, I will tell you...Jesus is attractive and when they see Jesus in you, they will be attracted to Him."

Be what you want your children to become

And what do I want my children to become?

...Lovers of Jesus and His Word.

...People who have faith that trusts when they cannot see.

...Men and Women who understand the depth of God's love for them.

...Leaders of others and followers of Him.

...Imitators of Christ.

...Salt and light.

This is what I want my children to become. This is who I want them to be.
So the question I who and what I want my children to be? Do I exhibit the fruits of the Spirit and character qualities that I so desperately pray for in my children?

Do I….
Speak firmly, yet gently to demonstrate kindness, gentleness and self-control?
Touch softly to demonstrate loving kindness?
Give generously of my time, treasure and talent to demonstrate a life that is focused on others?
Meditate on God’s word to demonstrate a hunger and thirst for God’s Word and daily dependence on Him?
Be loyal and trustworthy with friends, family and at work to demonstrate goodness and faithfulness?
Love and encourage my spouse to demonstrate respect, faithfulness and commitment?
Claim the promises of God's Word to demonstrate a heart that trusts in Him?
Use restraint with my money and eating habits to demonstrate self-control and patience?
Choose words and actions carefully to demonstrate wisdom and self-control?
Pray with purpose to demonstrate my dependence on God and belief in the power of prayer?
Give thanks frequently and enthusiastically to demonstrate a heart of gratitude?
Say no to myself and others to demonstrate our priorities and values with our home, schedule and finances?
Worship regularly and passionately to demonstrate living a life of praise?
Susie Larson, author of numerous books including Growing Grateful Kids says: “You cannot impart what you don’t possess.” Here’s the reality that is hard to swallow: I certainly don’t possess all the traits listed above.

But that’s OK. Because I’m a work in progress and God doesn’t call me to be perfect. He calls me to Him. The fruits of the spirit are a result of being in a right relationship with God and the fruits overflow when I am abiding in Him. I cannot do or become or impart on my own. It is only through His power, His strength that I can pass on anything to my children. It's only by His grace that I can be what I want my children to become.

Be what you want your children to become

The person in my life that demonstrates this to me more than anyone else is my friend Heidi. Her mama loves Jesus and she has taught her three girls to love Jesus with their whole hearts. Heidi isn’t perfect, but she loves Jesus. She is wise beyond her years. And her heart is all about knowing Him more. I think Heidi saw Jesus in her mom and because of that, she was attracted to Him.

It’s not easy to be what I want my children to become. In fact, it’s the hard road most days. The easy road is filled with impatience, selfishness, independence, foolishness and ingratitude.

Oh Jesus help me every single day to become more like you. Because the more I am like you, the more my children will see Jesus in me.


1 comment:

Miss Monica said...

I recently "found" your blog...and went back and read some of your key entries.

Wow - God has certainly blessed your life...and continues to do so. Funny how some of those blessings don't seem to be the ones we want, but God knows best for us.

I look forward to continue following your journey.