Thursday, February 21, 2008

Examples For Children

Today's Daily Soap {Scripture | Observation | Application | Prayer}
  • S: Proverbs 24:33-34; Proverbs 4
  • O: We must diligently live the example that we want our children to emulate.
  • A: Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let our eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. It can be too easy at times to stray off course. While getting back on course can be done -- and sometimes easily -- when you're engaged in the process of raising children, permanent damage can be done when you allow yourself to stray. We must remember that our children are watching -- all the time. They see everything we do, all the time. They hear everything we say. And they repeat our actions. Like a little monkey-see-monkey-do, my 22-month-old daughter mimics everything she sees. Her older brother is her biggest example, and everything he does, she does. By the same token, my son has picked up all that he knows from those around him -- mostly his mother and myself. So we must at all times remember to watch our tongues, be careful what we do and say. Not that my wife and I have a problem with fowl language, but sometimes simple things like talking about a person's weight, or our opinion of something someone else may have done, can become public knowledge when our little echoes run around repeating our very words to the very people we were referring to. In addition, we must set an example in all that we do. My wife is very much frustrated with the obvious lack of modesty most people have today -- especially women. You cannot turn on the television set without exposing yourself -- and your children -- to more flesh than anyone should be subjected to outside the bedroom. But it isn't just on television. Any casual stroll through the mall, or Wal-Mart, or any other public place, puts us in a position to see more than we care to see, and much more than we want our children to see at their age. As a father and devoted husband, I must constantly be averting my attention from whatever the next indecent exposure will be. And I must virtually predict what's coming up and where, so I can avert my attention in advance. I want to model the right behavior for my children, and to openly display for all to see that my wife is the only woman that I have any desire for. Not only must my son see that it's not right to exploit women, my daughter must also see that there is nothing attractive in that type of behavior so that she won't feel compelled to model it herself some day. And teaching those things to them must begin at a very early age. All it takes to throw these young impressionable minds off course is for me to falter in my step for just a moment.
  • P: Lord, help me to lead by example in all that I do and say. Help me to keep my feet on the right path and to show my children -- through words and actions -- what is right and what is wrong. Guide me down the path, Lord, that I may guide my children well.
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