If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with ridicule, he will learn to be shy
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith
~Dorthy Lawe Holt~
What about us?
All of our children mimic us because we are to them an example of what God is like. They rise up with us, sit down with us, and walk by the way with us.
De 6:7 And you wilt teach them (statutes and his commandments) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
They also learn by our example that God will also walk with them, rise with them, and walk by the way with them as David said in the Psalms.
Ps 139:1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Ps 139:2 Thou know when I sit down and when I rise up, thou understand my thoughts afar off.
Ps 139:3 You keep watch over my steps and my sleep, and have knowledge of all my ways.
This method of teaching by continually walking, talking, and being with them throughout the day comes from Jesus Christ Himself. It is what He used to teach his disciples. He taught the Israelites in the passage above how to do it. (Deut 6:7) He knew the right curriculum for His students. He was the curriculum. The example of His way of life and his bringing to light what was known in the scriptures was His perfect form of instruction.
Just as Jesus Christ taught His disciples through life’s experiences, we are to teach our children in the same way.
We no longer have Christ on the earth walking with us as disciples to teach us, walking side by side to mimic Him. We need to hear His words daily. That is why it is so vitally important that we read or listen to His word everyday so that we can mimic Him. We are His disciples. This is also an integral part to the gospel message:
Mt 28:19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and make disciples of all nations.
Therefore, it is for our benefit as well as our children’s learning we search the scriptures daily to be taught of God, to follow His example. We must put aside our own selfish desires and desire to become like our Father and brother Jesus Christ, so that our children can see Christ in us and also that the world might know:
John 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and have loved them, as you hast loved me.
What a way to teach our children through our example as we live God’s way of life. What an important part we play in sending out the message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God through our example of following Christ through our family lives!
In this context, when the disciples were scattered because of the great persecution, the Word says that everywhere they were scattered, they preached the gospel.
Ac 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Ac 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
How could that be possible? They knew the “Way” to live. Wherever they were scattered, God’s light was in them. They were preaching the gospel through their lives. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. They preached by their example.
Mt 5:14 You are the light of the world. A town put on a hill may be seen by all.
Does the world see Christ through our example as we mimic Him?
Paul even stated this in a different way, when he made this statement of the Corinthian church:
2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
God says of us that if we mimic Him, we will be His children:
Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Eph 5:1 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children”
This is one of the chief reasons I chose to homeschool my children. I wanted to disciple them in the way of God. I wanted to be with them when I rose, lay down, and walked by the way, showing them in the best way I could how to relate to the world the way God wanted us to, so that they could go out and do the same with their families and try to be a light to the world. Christ sent out His disciples after walking and talking with them for 3 ½ years, showing them as well as teaching them the principles of God in order to prepare them for what lay ahead.
We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to do so with homeschooling. No matter what situation you are in with your children, whatever time you have with your children, make sure God is at the center. By your example, everything you say and do is being recorded in their minds as “the way of life” and if it is God’s way, they’ll have an easier time walking in it when they are older.
For Today: Let’s be thankful we have such a wonderful instruction book as the Bible that we can go to in order that we can learn to mimic Him. Let’s be grateful that we have a God who is merciful to our shortcomings and let’s us stumble as we learn to walk like Daddy.