The story goes that there was this really catchy tune when I was about four years old. It was so catchy a jingle that I’d burst out with it in the most unusual of places. The only problem? It would embarrass my parents since the words that went to the tune were “VD gets around!”
Children are amazing for many reasons, not the least of which is their ability to remember a multitude of facts. When I was a child and was asked by my doctor for the ages of my siblings I rattled them off and the days they were born (I’m sure if I knew the times I would have recited them as well). About that time I don’t know if my dad could recall them as fast.
Since children are such sponges, it’s important for us to know what we are saying, but more so what we have done, what we are doing, and the fact that mommy and daddy are not perfect. Why is it important to acknowledge that we have flaws? Because even our mistakes are teaching moments– where we can show a child how best to handle the aftermath of a bad decision.
Take, for instance, what happened to Mrs. Meg Logan the other day. Because of a comment she made to a friend they were no longer on speaking terms. That effected her son since he was no longer able to play with this friend’s daughter. Meg could have blamed the friend for the problem, but instead she faced her son and told him about the fact that what she said had consequences. Fortunately, the rift has been healed, but hopefully her son learned something in the process.
As parents, we don’t like to admit that we are wrong (and might not like to admit that we don’t have all the answers!), and we especially don’t like to admit that to our children. We also don’t like to have our children see that there is sin in our lives. If we fight as husband and wife we do it behind closed doors or after the kids go to bed.
However, we should be teaching our kids how to handle life when everything is not peaches and cream. They will need to know how to resolve conflicts in Biblical ways because the odds are that there will be conflicts. They will need to see the leadership of the family working together for a common goal.
Fathers, your boys will need to see how you lead your house, how you love their mom, how you take care of the things that are around the house. Your daughters will look to you for the qualities that she should look for in a man and set her expectations for what her husband should do for her and how he should treat her.
Mothers, your girls will be watching to see how you are submissive to her daddy. They’ll be watching how you run the house, how you are a lady and the affection you have for your husband. Your boys will be looking to you to see what a proper woman should be like– and the standard you set for cooking will be how they will judge all women that they meet.
But parents, be a family. Show them your flaws so that they may learn that they will not be perfect, but that God has given a framework by which we are to resolve our differences. Teach them that there’s no difference between Sunday and the other days of the week by your example.