Getting ready around here is much different than it use to be. All 4 of my children can independently dress themselves now, brush their own teeth, comb their own hair, and put on their own shoes. I remember a time though, that this was not the case.
I would be frantically zipping jackets, tying shoes, brushing teeth, and fixing hair…it seemed like a lifetime before we could actually leave the house. I felt rushed and flustered a lot of mornings before even getting out the door.
I must admit that it’s pretty nice having them be more independent, although there are many times that I miss them needing me like they once did.
I can remember teaching them to get dressed. “Watch Mommy” I’d say as I would show them how to put an arm in the sleeve, how to snap a buckle, how to brush their teeth in circles. The list goes on and on.
If you were to spend a day in the Neville home when my kids were learning to be more independent, you would have heard me say those words a lot … “Watch Mommy”.
It is by the ‘watching’ that we learn. Whether we realize it or not, we have all learned behaviors from watching those who were parenting us. Thus why we have the saying (and it’s one that I don’t like) … ‘ Do as I say, not as I do’.
Most times people say it when they’re doing something that they don’t want their children to do. In reality, we know that they will more than likely repeat something that they’ve seen us do, rather than just listen to what we say.
This morning in prayer, scripture rolled over and over in my mind, and I knew that the Lord was speaking to my heart.
In Deuteronomy 6, we see a commandment to observe the statutes of God and to teach them diligently to our children.
It is not enough that we just tell them about the Lord, but that they see us living out the life of Christ in this world.
Just like when I was teaching them to brush their teeth… “Watch Mommy”.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow me, as I follow Christ”…
This should be us to our children, but so many times we wait for the preacher or the sunday school teacher to teach them of God and imitate Christ to them.
My heart aches at the thought that I will have taught them ‘by example’ how to care for their bodies and not their souls.
Their bodies will one day pass away, but their souls will pass over into eternity…will they have known how to yield their souls and submit their lives to the Lord by my example?!
Will they have heard me pray boldly enough? Worship passionately enough? Reach out to the least and the lost? Will they have seen me seeking the God of my soul enough to know how to do it themselves?!
I teach them everything else, by example…wash your face like this, make your bed like this, but this by far is the most important and somehow I neglect it the most. Thinking that they will just figure it out on their own. Thinking that going to church and having family devotions is enough…oh but it isn’t!
Living out my love for Christ before their eyes, in all that I do and say, and then crawling on my knees and not just saying a quick bedtime prayer with them, but a for real ‘God is hearing us’ kind of prayer, and then rising up the next day, ready to take action…reaching out, actually being the church instead of just taking them to church. This, THIS!! is what it looks like – ‘ Watch Mommy’ – this is what it looks like to love Jesus and serve Him with your life and soul, not just your words!
Oh… help me, Heavenly Father to lead my children to You! That they may know how to get to know You, by Watching Mommy! My greatest desire for them is that they will know You! Nothing else in this life matters if they don’t know You! Help me, Lord – not to neglect the greatest job that You’ve given me – to lead my children to You!