Oh if I only had a nickel for every time I heard this phrase as a child…
For a long time I believed that this was every parents mantra even when I first became a mom. I grew up thinking that it was more important to instruct on the right things to do. To say I was confused both as a child and early in my parenting journey is an understatement.
Yes the words are important, but the actions have to match. We, as parents, need to model the behavior that we are hoping to pass on to our kids. The fact is we will teach our children more by our actions than any words we could say. Most behavior, both good and bad, is caught not taught.
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
I want so much to pass these fruits onto my sons. Truth is they will learn them best by seeing them in me. Knowing this makes me more aware of my own behavior. So I will be a little more patient standing in line. I will try to be more joyful as I fold the laundry. I will speak a kind word to a stranger. My children are watching me and learning. I want to be able to say “follow me” and not “do as I say not as I do.”