Children are vulnerable. Mine were. They believed anything I told them. After all, I was their dad, and surely I wouldn’t lie to them. If I told them I could catch them if they jumped from the roof of our house, they’d believe it…and do it.
I suppose I never focused intently enough on the fact that the path I walked before them was important. I just did the normal things any good parent should have done. Read them bible stories, said prayers with them, taught them to say grace before meals, helped them with homework, cleaned the house, helped with cooking meals, worked in the yard, helped others.
As I reflect on those years, I now realize that in all things—large and small, I was walking a path before them—setting an example. They were weak, and I wanted them to become strong adults.
The church came into existence on the Day of Pentecost, not many days after Jesus’ ascension. He charged the early church with a worldwide campaign. For it to be effective, they needed to follow the straight path of obedience and morality.
As a parent, I didn’t want to mislead or confuse my children. I also wanted them to see how a mature adult should behave. Hopefully, I accomplished all three.
As a Christian, I’m an example to other Christians who connect with me regularly. Misleading or confusing them is a serious matter God won’t be pleased with. When I love God with all my heart—and show it by my actions, I’ll give those in my circle of influence a straight path to follow rather than a crooked path.
Acting out my beliefs in my behavior should show a clear line of demarcation between right and wrong. Just as an adult should no longer behave in childish ways, so my Christian walk should evidence maturity and growth.
What type of example are you setting for those in your circle of influence?
Prayer: Father, enable us to be an example to those You place in our path.
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