Every morning I wake my kids up, we eat breakfast, and then I remind them of their morning tasks. “Get dressed, brush your teeth, brush your hair, read your Bibles…”
Wednesday morning as I was reading one of my younger kids her Bible, my boys came running to me. “Mom look, I washed my face just like dad.” I gave a silent thumb up, as I was still reading, but they continued.
“Yep. We ate breakfast, washed our face, brushed our teeth, and read our Bibles- just like dad!” the next boy exclaimed.
It seemed fitting (in light of Father’s Day) to make note of how much my boys look up to their dad. Yes, they are shorter than him (by a couple feet), but in every sense of the saying- they look up to him. They are watching even when we do not realize it.
Honestly, I have been married to the man for almost nine years, and I didn’t know his routine for getting ready in the mornings. But my boys- they did. And they want to be just like him.
They see everything. And as mom, I get to watch them imitated their wonderful dad. When they walk into a building my children happily hold the door open for everyone. When they meet someone new at church, they look the person in the eye and give a firm handshake before engaging in conversation. When they walk next to their dad they hold their heads high and walk in confidence.
There’s nowhere the boys would rather be than hanging out with dad. If dad ask for their help in the garage, those boys are down there in a jiffy.
What I love most about watching my kids with their dad is the learning that is going on. When they are wrestling, they are learning. They are learning to never give up and keep trying, even though they know they will never actually beat their dad. They are learning to play and poke fun, but to also be aware of each other. If someone gets “hurt,” they are learning to make sure that person is ok and how to bounce back quickly. My kids will never miss out of an opportunity to have a wrestling match with dad because they love it.
When they are working in the shop, they are mostly learning how to clean up saw dust, but there’s so much more. They are learning how to solve problem, how to work through mistakes, how to build, how to fix, how to try to do something new. One of their dad’s favorite saying is, “There are two ways to do things- the right way and again.” Though they are usually just cleaning the shop and hanging out, they are observing their dad’s amazing work ethic and attitude towards household and/or car projects.
No matter what role dad is taking on at the time, he does it with love and care. And the kids see that. Even when they are being disciplined. They know that dad loves them and wants them to be the best they can. They know that dad is consistent and when they mess up, they expect dad’s correction. They know that dad has high expectations for them, and they want to meet those expectations. Because they love their dad.
If there is anyone I would want my boys to grow up to be like, it is their dad. He strives to live a life for God. However, he knows he’s needs the Holy Spirit to do that. He’s not afraid to say that he’s messed up before and is willing to share the lesson he was taught through that. Their dad has never met a stranger. He would talk about Jesus to a complete stranger for hours if the other person were to stay engaged. Their dad has a heart to share the Gospel. My kids see that!
When my kids walk into the room and see their dad studying his Bible- my kids see that.
When my kids hear their dad singing out Christian Rock music- they hear that and do the same.
When dad messes up and says he’s sorry- my kids see that.
When dad stops what he is doing to say good night and pray- my kids see that.
Faith is not something that we say we have; it is something we live. It’s not just going to church on Sunday; it’s daily walking with Christ. It’s not living by a set of rules; it’s living for Christ. It’s not telling people what they should do; it’s living the way we should to honor God. It’s modeling Christ so all can see the hope we have.
Kids learn what they are taught. Some of it is literal teaching. Some of it is practice and repetition. But all of it is modeled. I am so grateful that my kids have their dad as an awesome teacher and role model. He never strays from the end goal when it comes to parenting- productive Christian adults. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).”
My husband is an amazing example of a man trying to walk in faith. Is he perfect- no way! No one is. He works hard to provide for his family, not just financially, but emotionally, spiritually, and physically as well. I cannot imagine the temptations he comes into everyday as he endures work, ungodly people, temptations to slander, temptations to lust, temptations to gossip, temptations to lie and build himself up, and probably a thousand more temptations I’ll never have to witness. But I can tell you he seeks God. He seeks accountability. He admits when he struggles. He seeks others to pray for him.
It is my prayer that the Lord continues to guide and strengthen my husband. That God will keep him on the straight and narrow path allowing him to stand firm when the enemy comes at him. I pray that my children see their dad as he strives to do God’s will and that they are inspired to do the same. I pray for a family on fire for Christ, serving God together, loving God above all things, and seeking His will in every situation.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4