Charles Barkley – loser of millions of dollars due to the sin of gambling, despiser of Christians [read full story on this statement here], lost and undone without the Lord Jesus Christ – – but he makes a great point!
Who ought to be our children’s role model? Who ought to be the ones our sons and daughters want to be like and to follow? who ought to be our kids’ examples?
The word example means “a pattern; a copy; that which is proposed to be imitated”. Throughout the Bible, God gives many patterns to follow and He also gives many patterns NOT TO follow…for example:
ONES TO FOLLOW
1) THE LORD JESUS CHRIST – He’s Our Greatest Example:
Luke 9:23, “And he [JESUS] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
John 15:9, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
2) THE APOSTLE PAUL:
1 Cor 4:16, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me”
1 Cor 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”.
2 Pet 5:1-3, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”
Heb 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
THEN, there are examples of:
ONES NOT TO FOLLOW
2 Tim 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world”
Lev 10:1, “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.”
John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”
HOW ABOUT PARENTS – MOM and DAD…and even GRANDMA and GRANDPA?
Parents are examples unto their children, whether we like it or not or whether we know it or not. Sometimes parents are examples to follow, but sometimes their examples NOT to follow.
As Parents in our relationship with our children, we must strive to provide the proper example unto them.
Prov 23:26, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
God wants our lives as parents to be the kind of example that is consistent with what we profess. We need to “practice what we preach” before them!
As parents provide the proper example for their children, will there any room for mistakes? Yes, there has to be. Every one of us is fallible, and therefore, every one of us makes mistakes…BUT: is there a difference between mistakes and hypocrisy?
Mistakes – we show our fallibility; we make wrong judgments at times; we misinterpret situations.
Hypocrisy – living by a double standard; living one way in public vs. living another way in private.
Question: What do you think would be more detrimental to a child: mistakes or hypocrisy?
We as parents need to live a life of integrity and openness before our family. We need to admit mistakes when they occur and apologize if we wrongfully offend our children, rather than ignoring or justifying them…now that would be a good example for them to follow!
WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLES CAN PARENTS BE TO THEIR CHILDREN?
Here’s just a brief list of examples I’ve compiled for us as parents on “how to” be a good and godly role model for our sons and daughters:
-You follow through on what you promise.
-You show a genuine interest in your child(ren).
-You are a source of encouragement.
-You DO NOT “roast” the Pastor at lunchtime after church.
-You honor God by being in His House, reading His Word, tithing and offering, etc.
-You deal fairly with others in business transactions.
-You DO NOT say one thing in front of others, but do the opposite at home.
-You treat your mate with respect and reverence.
-You go back through the checkout lane and give back the extra change the clerk accidentally gave you.
WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING FOR YOUR KIDS?
In many instances, our children watch our lives more than they listen to our words.