Monday, November 2, 2009

Lead by Example

The other day I took my four year old daughter, T. to the grocery store. As I helped her out of the car I noticed that she had her purse in one hand and her pretend cell phone held up to her ear with the other hand.

How cute, she looks just like me, I thought.  As I began to try talking with her, she responded, "Mom, I'm on the phone." Wait! That wasn't so cute, but that is how I acted while on the phone. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I had not put good boundaries around my time with my little T. I've since made a conscious effort not to talk on the phone while we are in the store's together. This has allowed for some great quality time together, which is a rarity when you have multiple children.

As parents, we lead by example whether we want to or not. Our children will imitate and mimic us whether we are acting good or acting bad, so it is critical that when we are looking for parenting advice we begin by first examining our own hearts and lives. Jesus always lead by example, here's what He says to us in John 13:15 (ESV) I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Sometimes, as shown in my example above, we will discover glitches in our behavior that may need to be modified so we can be pleasing to God as we raise our children.

Every other Monday I will be sharing with you some of the lessons and tips that I've learned over the past 13 years on parenting. I will use real life examples and scriptures to support my advice. But be warned, if you read along, you will be encouraged to look at your own hearts first, then to your children's behavior.



Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Sonya: This is so true. I always say "our children are our little accountability tools." :) God teaches me so much about my own heart through them.

They mirror us in many ways, huh? By His grace, may we see His reflection in them!

Thanks for this! Thank you for the challenge to get our own hearts before Him. I'll be careful to lead by example...especially while on the cell phone! :)

Blessing upon blessing,

Warren Baldwin said...

I have a pic of one of my kids talking on a play phone and taking notes! She was conducting business like dad! Sobering thought, and sobering article. Good job. wb

Kelly Combs said...

Our kids are our "mini-me"s and likewise, we can get a heart change by their behavior.

I am looking forward to readng more of your articles!

Sue J. said...

It is really hard to be a parent. A good parent!? It echoes the Proverbs 31 passage for me: "An excellent [parent], who can find? For her worth is far above jewels."

I find I'm constantly cross-examining myself when my children's behavior goes awry. The challenge (and opportunity) is to discern if it really is a "me" issue or a child learning issue--the opportunity being to seek God's direction, through prayer.

To be constantly "on" for my kids is practically impossible. With His help, though, I can be closer to that than I am.

Looking forward to lots of great guidance from you all!

Edie said...

This applies to grandkids too. There have been a few times when I have heard a phrase or worse, a sound, like a heavy sigh when frustrated, come out of the mouths of my little babes and I knew they learned them from me.

Great message Sonya!

B His Girl said...

Interesting visuals Sonya...Boundaries in our time with our children. I appreciate those words. Looking forward to these posts. B

Mary Moss said...

Great post, Sonya! And so true! We are role models for our children! Sometimes they don't reflect what we hope or think we are modeling:-) That's one of God's little wake up calls, I think!


Greg C said...

Great lesson. And the one that I try to drive home is; Why should you be forgiven when you won't forgive others? That one usually makes them think.

Nancy M. said...

This is something I had never thought of, thanks for the reminder!

skoots1mom said...

isn't God so creative teaching us through our kids...those lessons ALWAYS hit home and make a LASTING impression :D