If we want to know what we look like or what we sound like, we need only listen to our small children at play.  They mimic our actions and speech more expertly than the greatest stage actors.  What do our children hear?  Do they hear praise or gossip?  Do they hear singing or screaming?  Do they hear prayers or curses?  Do they hear whining or confidence?  What do they see?  Do they see self-control or anger?  Do they see faith in action or anxious wanderings?  Do they see generosity toward others or miserliness?

Just as God wants His children to model their behavior according to His holiness, parents have a responsibility to encourage right behavior in their children through example.  God speaks to us and deals with us in the same manner he wants us to deal with our own children.  He has given us His son as an example and His Holy Spirit to help remind us when we need a little nudge in the right direction.  Our Christian walk becomes perfected as we keep our attention focused on Christ.  Because we love Him, we want to be more like Him.  We want to trudge along wearing His boots. By daily Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with like minded believers, we will become more and more like our Father.  And as we grow closer to God, our earthly walk will be more in tune with what we hope our children will pattern.

Our walk will testify to what we believe.  Our speech will reflect what is in our hearts.  The choice of what image we project to our children is up to us.  We can be certain that our little mimics will want to grow up just like us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalms 139:23-24 NIV).

Linda Rondeau is the author of America II: The Reformation (Trestle Press) and The Other Side of Darkness (Pelican Ventures) which won the 2012 Selah Award for best debut novel. She is the editor of Geezer Guys and Gals blog, a multi-author blog for and by seniors and also blogs at This Daily Grind.

Publication date: August 10, 2012