Tim and Sharon were driving in heavy traffic one afternoon. Their young son, Daniel, was sitting in his car seat in the back. His car seat was equipped with a pretend steering wheel complete with horn so he could “drive like daddy.”
Tim and Sharon were deep in conversation when suddenly, they heard Daniel pounding on his little car horn. Tim looked in the rearview mirror to see what was happening. Then, little Daniel threw his clenched fist in the air and yelled, “Watch out where you’re going, you stupid idiot!”
Tim’s heart sank as he turned to his wife and said with his voice filled with sarcasm, “I wonder where he learned that?”
Our children (and grandchildren) are great mimics. Whatever they see us doing, they imitate. They do this for two primary reasons. First, they’re soaking up everything their little eyes see, their ears hear, and their hands handle. This is how they learn.
Second, most children, especially boys, want to be like their daddy. Our children imitate us because they want to be like us. This is a very daunting responsibility to consider! But rather than fear the bad habits they might learn from us, there’s another way to look at this role we play in their young lives.
As followers of Jesus, we want to be like Him. Through reading His Word, praying, being a part of a church body, and engaging in other spiritual disciplines, we’re seeking to draw closer to Him so He can transform us and make us more like Him.
In the same way, we can show our children what it looks like to pursue Jesus. But we must not put on a false front, for our kids see right through pretense. Instead, they know we’re still sinners, so when we sin or blow it, we can take that opportunity to demonstrate humility and repentance. If we’ve offended or unjustly disciplined our child, we should humbly ask their forgiveness and assure them of our love.
And what a joy it is to watch your child or grandchild begin to follow Jesus by watching you and imitating you in the Christlike way you deal with others.
Being a dad or grandfather can be a daunting role, especially considering how much our children mimic us and want to be like us. But being a dad or grandpa can also be hugely rewarding from the standpoint that you’ve got a captive audience right in your home learning how to follow Jesus. Men, there’s no greater joy than watching your kids pursue Christ like you are.
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 3:1-8
Personal Application: To what extent would your children (or grandchildren) know that you are pursuing Christ? In what ways would you like them to imitate you? How will you make this happen?
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5