Lead By Example and See the Change

As a parent, regardless if you feel like it or not, there are little eyes always watching you; observing what you do.

     I feel like I am always teaching, correcting, or guiding my young children. It never stops and it's the same thing over and over and over.  Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself? Or correcting the same unwanted behavior a million times a day? It can be super frustrating; I know. So many times I ask myself are my kids even learning what I am trying to teach them? Especially when it comes to morals, values, and Jesus. You can teach them all you want by reading to them, memorizing scripture, sending them to Sunday School or Kid's Church and yes, they will learn. However, the best way is by following your example.   Do your kids see you read and study the Bible? Do they see you pray? Or do they only see you with your Bible when you go to church? 

Beach scene with the words Lead by example

Children mimic behaviors. Younger kids, especially, will mimic their parent's behavior. This morning both my kid's woke up and came to my bed to cuddle with me for a little bit and then my oldest (6 years old) left. He was gone for quite a bit, the tv wasn't on so I thought to myself "He's into something." I got up and went into the living room and then to the  kitchen but there was complete silence. I looked outside on the porch and there he was completely still (which isn't normal) sitting in the rocking chair.  This is the rocking chair I use every morning to do my devotional and pray. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm praying!" 

In that moment I was like, "Wow, he gets it." Not because I forced him to pray or because it is something he felt like he HAD to do.  He, on his own, mimicked a familiar behavior. 

To further illustrate how important it is that your children see you modeling the kind of behavior you want to see in them I will tell you another story I had with my son. This happened a few months back.   He came and asked me why daddy doesn't pray and read the Bible like I do.  I told him daddy does but he does it at his office. 

In his mind daddy didn't pray and read his Bible because he didn't see him  do it. 

How powerful is that?

Today I encourage you to start modeling the behavior you want to see in your kids. They are watching you. In fact, modeling is a common teaching strategy. We especially use it in the ELL/EFL classroom. Modeling as a teaching strategy is explained on the teachhub.com as 

 "a teaching strategy where a teacher explicitly shows the students how to complete an activity or assignment before the students begin." 

They further say, 
Modeling provides a clear picture in a student’s mind as to how to handle the task at hand." 

So as you model what you want your children to do, it provides a clear picture in their mind. 

Your unspoken influence can be greater than your spoken guidance. 

This concept can be applied to all areas of your life and is a Biblical concept.

1 Cor. 11:1 "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."

Phil. 3:17 "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."

We can find many places in the Bible were we are instructed to lead by example and the greatest example we can follow is that of Jesus Christ. As we strive to follow his example we can't help but be a positive example for others. 

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