Monkey See, Monkey Do – Tim Stauffer

So I was driving down the highway with my 3 kids the other day and was startled by the direction of our conversation. I asked my kids what they thought I would teach them if I could only teach them one thing in life. Immediately they responded that I would teach them to follow Jesus—they were right. But happened next was unexpected to me.

I proceeded to ask them how they thought I would go about teaching them and how they would learn to follow Christ. Immediately one of them said— we will watch you because you will show us how. Wow, what a batch of mixed emotion that produced for me. I was so proud of them. I was so humbled by the privilege of parenthood. And I was kind of terrified. My children are closely watching me and taking their cues about how to do life from what I model for them.  You know, your kids are the same way. By God’s design, children learn best from what they see modeled.

Jesus closely watched and emulated His Father too. In John 5:19 we read, “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  I believe the author of Proverbs 22:6 was talking about modeling when he wrote “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The best training tool a parent has for their children is a life lived with character, consistency, and authenticity.

Modeling well begins with a deep desire for Christ to be formed in you. Join with me in this prayer – “Lord, give me the character I need to be an effective Christ-like parent.”

Parenting Resources we like: Strong Fathers – Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meek  and Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas

Spiritual Formation resources: Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard.

Tim Stauffer’s Bio

Tim & LaRonda Stauffer and their 3 children have been attending Vista since early 2010.  In addition to leading a Life Group with his wife, Tim also serves as a Life Group coach and is part of Vista’s teaching team. Tim is a professional counselor in private practice specializing in marriage counseling, sexual addictions, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional under supervision. To learn more about Tim you can visit his website at www.timstauffercounseling.com


  1. I recall a recent time Henry modeled me in such a way that caused me to rethink my behavior. A phrase I have come to adopt is, “shut up!” Not telling someone to be quiet, but I use the phrase in response to something incredible. Such as when I walked out our back porch and saw a glorious sunset, my verbal reaction was, “shut up! Get out here and see this sky.” My family shuffled out back to join me, and then I heard my son repeat what he had heard from my mouth only seconds before, “shut up!” It made me cringe hearing it from his mouth. It was a great lesson for me as someone who needs to exercise a better filter concerning what comes out of my mouth.