WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 16, 2022
TOPIC: BE A GODLY EXAMPLE TO YOUR CHILDREN
BY T.O. BANSO
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1 New King James Version).
The Bible says a lot about child training. God expects parents to train their children because, as Malachi 2:15 says, God seeks from the marriage union godly offspring. That is not going to happen by just giving birth to children. They must be well brought up.
Therefore, God told the Israelites to use every opportunity to teach their children His law. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 New King James Version)
The LORD testified of Abraham thus: “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” (Genesis 18:19 New King James Version).
As said in the Bible, parents are to instruct, rebuke, and correct or discipline their children (Proverbs 1:8-9; 3:12; 4:1; 13:24, 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 29:15, 17). But beyond this, parents must realize that their actions speak louder than words. They must appreciate the fact that their actions have more influence on their children than their words. They are examples that their children will emulate – good or bad.
Studies have shown that children learn by imitating adults. Indeed, further studies have shown that children over-imitate adults. This is particularly true within the family as children imitate their parents’ behaviour. This includes good and bad behaviour. Thus, parents need to understand that they cannot demand the right actions from their children while they demonstrate wrong actions before them. Children don’t only learn from words of mouth, they also learn by imitation. What children see demonstrated before them has more impact on them than words of mouth.
Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (New King James Version). Would you be pleased if your children imitate your behaviour? Can you say that you’re such a Godly example that you would pray that your children would copy you?
Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (New King James Version). Also, Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (New King James Version). These are good scriptures for parents to quote to demand obedience from their children or remind them to obey them! But if the lives of the parents contradict what they’re asking their children to obey, there is a problem.
Suppose a parent lies easily and he/she demands from the children to always tell the truth. Or suppose the parent fights, nags, or does other things that the Bible forbids but the parent wants the child to practise what the Bible says. That’s hypocrisy. Such a parent is not likely to succeed with his/her child. Parents must be Godly examples to their children. They must not say that they should do what they say and not what they do. This is bad parenting.
The Bible says Abijah followed the evil example of his father, Rehoboam, instead of copying the Godly example of his great grandfather, David. “In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maachah the granddaughter of Abishalom. And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 15:1-3 New King James Version).
Similarly, 1 Kings 22:51-53 talks about how Ahaziah followed the evil example of his father, King Ahab. “Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; for he served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done” (New King James Version).
But look at the way the Bible talks about Jehoshaphat: “So Jehoshaphat was king over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:31-32 New King James Version). Are you a Godly example for your children?
Jesus said to His disciples, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15 New King James Version). What example are you giving your children? Would you be happy if they follow your lifestyle? The ancient proverb “Like father, like son” or “Like mother, like daughter” is evident in many families. But it is bad if it is seen negatively. Parents must avoid influencing their children through their ungodly examples.
Lois was a Godly grandma. Her daughter was also a Godly mother. Paul remembered how the genuine faith in Timothy dwelt first in his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. He was persuaded the same faith was in Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5).
But that is not the case with some parents. By their example, they teach their children how to, among other vices, be disobedient, impolite, unforgiving, unloving, selfish, bitter, and cruel. Don’t corrupt your children by being an evil example for them to emulate. Be a model of Godly behaviour for them. Let them learn from your behaviour faith in God, love, obedience, truthfulness, politeness, cooperation, forgiveness, and selflessness. Also, let them emulate your compassion, perseverance, and other godly virtues.
Remember that your children are not yours; they are a gift from the Lord. They belong to Him. He only gave them to you to nurture them on His behalf. Therefore, be a good representative of God before them. Live for God before them so that they can live for Him, too. Live a Godly life that will encourage them to give their lives to Jesus, live for Him on earth, and return to God to spend eternity with Him.
If you are not born again, I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be a Godly example to my children. Let my life not corrupt them and send them to hellfire. I shall live a life that will influence my children positively and not hinder their salvation or prevent them from spending eternity with God. I shall not fail God over my children in Jesus’ name. I pray that parents who are an evil influence on their children will realize the danger they pose to them, repent, and surrender their lives to Jesus.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947