“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father…had done.” 2Ch 26:4 NIV
The punch line in a cartoon reads, “No matter what we teach our children, they insist on behaving just like us!” We smile, but it’s a very serious matter. One expert says, “We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are.” Your children may sometimes doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do. So: (1) If you want them to have a quiet time with God, you have one. (2) If you want your children to be in church, take them, don’t send them. (3) If you don’t want your children using foul language, watch what comes out of your mouth. (4) If you don’t want your children to smoke, drink, or do drugs, you leave them alone. When you say one thing but do another your children may still love you, but eventually they’ll lose respect for you. And what’s worse, they’ll think, “If the principles you preach don’t work for you, why should I try them?” Your example will have more impact than all your exhortations. Read these two Scriptures carefully. The first is found in the Old Testament: “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father…had done.” The second is found in the New Testament: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2Ti 1:5 NIV). Thousands of years separate those two Scriptures, but the truth they teach is timeless: so set the right example!