What do your children see when they look at you?
Our 11 year old daughter sat with me and my husband at church today, as she will occasionally do instead of going to her classroom. I’m okay with that, since I believe she is old enough for the grown up sermons. And as I sat between her and my husband, I noticed the difference in size between me and my daughter. I am a pretty average size woman, and next to my petite young daughter who looks more like she’s 8 rather than 11…well, let’s just say it’s pretty obvious who the adult is! And I started to think about who she is, what she represents to me. When I look at her I see youth, and fun, and laughter, and love, and the joy in life.
But how does she see me? What do my daughters see when they look at me? Am I just some mom who is only slightly (or in some cases, not at all!) taller than themselves? Am I just another adult telling them what to do? (I certainly hope not!) Or am I something just a little bit more….(I can only pray!)
And I guess, that all depends on what I show them.
When troubles arise, do I shrink back in fear and scramble for a safe place to hide? Or do I stand my ground and refuse to give way to the enemy’s attack? When I feel anger rising in my throat, do I give it a voice and let everyone around me hear? Or do I take a step back and quietly ask God for the peace that only He can bring? When there is a job to be done, do I make myself scarce until the work is all done? Or am I the first one to pitch in while encouraging others to do the same? When I see someone in need of something that I am more than capable of giving, do I turn my head and pretend I don’t see them? Or do I gladly give what I have and show them the love of Christ while meeting that need?
One think I know for sure….
What I show to my daughters, I am teaching to my daughters. They learn how to interact with this world by watching how I interact with this world. They learn behavior by watching how I behave in different situations. If I show fear, they learn fear. If I show laziness, laziness is what they learn. If I show anger, hostility, and selfishness, that is exactly what they learn.
And, if I want my daughters to make a difference in this world, it’s up to me to show them how to be different.
“Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.” – Proverbs 22:6