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.”
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