– Charles Spurgeon
Saying but not Doing
When we tell our children one thing but then live another, we are telling them that our words mean nothing. That’s because our actions are drowning out what we say. We might tell our children when someone calls on the phone, “Tell them I’m not home” and then children will see that it’s okay to lie. If we want our children to live honest, godly lives, we had better go there ourselves.
Setting an Example
Our children are watching us…so are our grandchildren, so don’t think that what you do in life isn’t important and isn’t being noticed. More is caught than is taught, and if they are taught to live contrary to what they are taught in the Bible, they might also grow up to be hypocrites with all talk and no action. Children know a lot more than we give them credit for, so be setting a good and godly example, or they might follow our example of saying “Do this and do that” but then doing something totally different from what we told them.
Showing the Way
When my son and I were out walking on an open trail, it started to get dark and we could hardly see the path that we came down. There were storm clouds gathering and it was getting darker and darker, so my son looked at me as he saw the lightning flashing off in the distance, “Do you know the way back?” I told him, “Yes, I know the way because I’ve walked this path many times before.” Not only did I show him the way, I went that way with him. Parents and grandparents; it’s up to us to show the way in which they should walk, but we must stay on that path ourselves.
Going there Yourself
We can train children all we want to, but if we’re not living out that training, they are going to turn a deaf ear to us because they hear, “Do what I say, not what I do” and that’s not going to work out very well for our children and grandchildren. In other words, they can’t hear what we’re saying because our action is drowning out our words.
Wise King Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6), which doesn’t mean they won’t ever disobey God. It only says that we are commanded to train up our children and if we do this “In the Lord,” then they’ll likely go in the way that they should go because we’ll be going there ourselves.