Pastor Larry’s Blog--The second in a series of bi-monthly thoughts that will hopefully give you some joy in the journey of parenting and living life to the fullest.
Matthew 5:16 says, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” I’m not sure where I remember hearing it but I love this phrase—“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.” I don’t mean to imply that I don’t love listening to sermons but, and I think you would agree, those things that are done are far more impacting than when they’re just said.
God calls us to lead by example when it comes to serving Him, our families and anyone else He puts in our path. I’m not sure if this is your experience but I had no idea on just how selfish I was until I became a father. It is such a wonderful title to have but it calls us to consistently put the needs of our family before our own.
I do remember the first time I heard someone say this and actually mean it, “Do as I say, not as I do.” At first, I was like, “Did he really just say that?” And unfortunately, the answer was “yes” and he meant it. While words are important, we all realize that actions are better taught when they’re caught in example.
God wants us to model Him just as Jesus did. In Col. 1 Paul tell us that Christ “Is the image of the invisible God” (vs. 15) and God holds us to that standard as well. It’s so important for us to understand that our kids will reflect the example we show to them. I still remember the first time I heard sarcasm come from one of my sons when they were very young, that same sarcasm that I unfortunately had modeled way too many times. Our sin is an ever-present reality but when we see that same sin lived out in the lives of our kids it seems to sting even more.
It’s a high standard that God calls us to when He asks us to be “salt & light” in our own family (Matt. 5) but it’s a standard that we need to model. As we abide in Christ (John 15) He gives us the power to lead by example and to walk as Jesus walked (I Jn. 2:6). So, let’s not sell ourselves short, we can be those “living sermons” where our words and actions complement each other as we strive to lead by example and embody what Paul said in I Cor. 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Why? Because children are great imitators so give them something great to imitate!
For God’s glory…not ours.