Children watch everything we do. They watch how we react in certain situations. Did I just tell myself a lie or did I allow myself to see the truth of the situation? Children’s constant observations makes us have to think about our identity in Christ and what our children are learning from us! (Click here to learn more about your identity in Christ.)
Does this mean we have to be perfect? Heavens, NO! No one is perfect. Only Jesus was perfect. But it is in those times that we mess up that we use it as a teaching moment. Kids need to know adults make mistakes and sin. They need to know that we all are going to make mistakes and sin. It is how we overcome those mistakes and handle the situation in front of our children that matters.
Telling our kids we are sorry when we mess up and asking for forgiveness is what teaches them how they should be reacting in situations.
There have been many times I have heard a child say “I can’t” or “It’s all my fault.” In looking back, did they hear me say those words? How often are we failing to give ourselves grace? It’s amazing how we can give children grace in certain situations more than we can give to ourselves.
Our children listen and sometimes copy exactly what we do. But take heart, they also watch the good things:
- How you are praying
- How you are walking with the Lord
- How you are worshiping God
- How you are building relationships with people around you
- How you are respecting your spouse
- How you are interacting with nonbelievers
Our kids are making the connection of who God is through us in how we interact with Him. When they see us stop and pray for the hard situation at hand, they are learning that they should stop and pray to God for help. When they see us read God’s Word, they get a chance to see how the Word is living and is an important part of our daily lives.
Children get a clear view into our lives because they see the good and the bad. They watch us model for them how to be a follower of Christ. When we allow them to see both the good and bad and how we react in those situations, they get a better idea of how they should be living their lives for Christ.
We get to choose how to respond to situations and how we want our children to learn from us. Do we want them to learn how to respond in a way that will glorify God or one that will teach them how to curse?