If your kids were asked to describe how you are at home, in the car, at the store…what would they say? It’s a sobering question that many of us would be embarrassed to answer, at least sometimes. In fact, some of you probably just skipped a heartbeat or two thinking about things that have slipped out of your mouth!
With our attention on other things we often react to problems like no one is around. That’s troublesome on several levels:
- Why would we be reacting differently if someone were around? Shouldn’t our behavior be the same regardless of surroundings?
- Our kids take their cues from us. Their words are formulated from what comes out of our mouths. It doesn’t matter if your child is 18 months or 18 years old, they absorb your words, actions, and body language.
- Have we forgotten about God? He’s always with us, which is something we treasure when we’re in need, but disregard when we’re “doing our own thing.”
Being a person of consistency and integrity is what we’re called to. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible to “only control your tongue and behavior when you’re at church or around Christians.” Jesus modeled quite the opposite for us. No matter what the setting was, He always was Himself…holy, righteous, consistent!
Getting back to our kids, I find it sad that the “hypocritical” parents are often the ones that can’t understand why their children lie, back talk, and disrespect others. Somehow it doesn’t sink in that their kids are simply living out what they were taught. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been the “bad” example plenty of times tangled up in pride and blind to my own shortcomings and vices. It’s only when I’ve allowed myself to listen to correction that I’ve started to grow out of the “I can do no wrong” mindset.
If you’ve read this and realize that your words and actions have been less than stellar, it’s simple to remedy the situation. Apologize to God, your spouse, and your kids for messing up and then show them how to do it right!
Written by Andrew Pino
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