We, as adults, will try to justify just about anything. And the majority of the time, we are not completely aware that we are doing it.
Unfortunately, what we fail to keep in the forefront of our mind is that our children learn more from what we do, not just from what we say. And that “Do as I say, not as I do” phrase, just doesn’t work.
When my sister shared with me that she had to reprimand my niece about lying, I was reminded of an occasion when I was blessed to witness a conversation between my niece and her mom.
My niece was reading selections from a page filled with gripes that several teenagers had posted about their life experiences, when she said, “Mom this one is you!” And then she read the passage, “Telling someone that you are on your way, when you haven't even left the house.”
Well, you may not have realized this yet, but these are those subtle, (most important) details we as parents miss, which our children never miss and they never forget. Just from this scenario alone, we must honestly acknowledge that a lie is a lie! There is no degree (steps or stages) or size (big or small) that we can utilize to justify it as anything other than a lie!
Now, when we finally realize this, we must also acknowledge and accept that our children are watching everything we do continuously (which by the way, are our greatest teachable moments) even when we think they are not paying any attention to us at all.
The reality is it is during these times of them watching us, when our children actually learn the finer details in the development of their own character. So, don’t be surprised when you find your children doing those exact same things that you taught them were the wrong and ungodly things to do.
Because, if you just take a moment to reflect on your own actions of late, it will become clear to you why your children are behaving in that way. Frankly, there is no way to justify our behavior as parents, whether it’s a lie that we have told or any other sin that we have committed, as anything other than a lie and/or a sin, no matter the size of it or the circumstances surrounding it.
Our Heavenly Father never has to tell us, “Do as I say, not as I do” because His words always reflect His actions. We build our most holy faith on His actions, not on just His words. God says in His word that He loves us: “For God so loved the world...” (John 3:16) and “God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Therefore, it is imperative that we, as parents, pay close attention to our actions, as well as our words, even when we think no one is watching us.
Our Heavenly Father is always watching and listening and so are our children!