"THE MAN IN THE MIRROR"
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4, NIV)
A few days ago as I was praying and the Lord gave me a vision. The vision was of me driving my car and glancing through my rear view mirror. As I looked through the mirror I saw my own face and the reflections of my children. As I reflected on the image I realized what the Lord was showing me. Through my life I leave an imprint in each one of the children. Children are like a giant sponge absorbing their surroundings. As I pondered this further I began to evaluate what I was passing on to my children through my parenting skills. Thoughts such as am I short tempered, unwilling to listen, negative, showing favoritism, to strict or am I modeling a love that is patient and is kind. A love that does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud etc. (1 Corinthians 13:4). I thanked the Lord for this vision, because as parents we need to daily evaluate what we are modeling. We do this by humbling ourselves before the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal what we are doing. Once God shows us we then must submit to God and change. When it comes to parenting many of us bring to the table what was modeled to us by our parents. I have heard throughout the years parents say, “I will never be like my parents” yet without realizing it model exactly how they grew up. Others make the statement “look at me I turned out OK” yet even in that statement when the parent reflects on their childhood they remember the scares from the past. Parenting especially in the formation years is critical for the development of future generations. The Lord has entrusted us to develop Spiritual Champions, but to be able to do that we must evaluate what we model to our children. The starting point is allowing the Lord to work on you individually and then as a couple through the reading and application of the Word to our lives and Prayer. Then study parenting, what tools are out there that can help us grow as a parent? Develop relationships with other families with young children and share testimonies of lessons learned or trials you are confronted with, and find spiritual parents who have gone down these roads and glean from their years of experience. “Father God, help me to value my children you have entrusted them to me and I want to see them become what you want them to be, help me to show them your heart today.” Amen -DR