2. Godly thoughts & communication: Are you an unkind and abusive employer? Do you use unsavoury words at home, on others, on your hired hands, house helps, drivers, cook etc. and yet you try to discipline your kids to be respectful and speak with words that are seasoned? Do you stay on the phone to talk about others, put them down, gossip under the guise of ‘we need to pray for them’ and then you see your child or ward doing same? You must know of the saying, ‘Do what I say not do what I do’. Those eyes look up to us and as much as we talk, admonish and discipline them, their eyes are watching us, soaking up like sponges what we do. Whether we agree or not, we role model before them for good or bad.
Paul tells us, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness” (Titus 2:7) We are also warned, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29). More especially if the observers or listeners are the younger generation around you, whom we often are demanding a higher standard from.
3. Do we tell half-truths or white or blatant lies and expect our children to tell us the truth always and not to lie at all? This one is easy. The law of seed time and harvest time remains as long as the earth remains, but in behavioural terms this scripture is apt, scary but apt. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7) I say scary because I cannot even begin to think of all the bad seeds one has sown over a lifetime, but for grace, repentance and second chances. However, if one continually takes grace for granted and sow lies to the hearing and knowing of your younger ones, surely we will also reap lies in our interactions with them or at best, half-truths. As a singer once put it, “You can’t expect to sow yam and reap cocoyam”.
4. Exercising our faith, walking in dominion: Christ Like or Like Christ? Sounds like a play of words but bear with me. This is about asking ourselves if we are determined to be ‘Christ like’ (a noun) or ‘like Christ’ (an adjective). For me, Christ like is much more than good and godly behaviour, or godly deeds or acts; it’s more than ‘what will Jesus do’ but more being LIKE CHRIST. It’s living in the supernatural daily as this is meant to be our NEW NORMAL. Why are we surprised when we pray and God answers phenomenally? Why are we surprised when God moves and does miracles? Why is it a shock when we experience seasons of overcoming in life? Encounters that make us a testimony to others and bring us closer to be LIKE CHRIST. This should be the life we role model so that our younger generation are drawn to the God in us. If we intentionally start to raise them with this knowing, they witness this to be the life of walking with God. Jesus told us, ”By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16) and in John 14:12, that we who know him shall do greater works. We should not be surprised in the least.
I have many examples, but these ones come top of mind for me.
A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. An individual who is looked up to and revered by someone else. Someone who other individuals aspire to be like, either in the present or in the future. A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated. Role models serve as a · lead · guide · model · pattern · blueprint · template · paradigm · exemplar · ideal · standard.
Whether we plan to or not, we Christ believers are role models to the younger ones closest to us, who subconsciously choose us and identify with us as their first role model before they discern better or aspire for more. As parents, we all want to be in the first category, but this can only happen in its most effective and purest form when we avenge all disobedience in our own lives and lead our younger ones God’s way not just by words, but our actions. If we are desirous to do this, the Holy Spirit is always available to help us. So, let’s engage Him and get into radical action. Talk is cheap, they say!