What does it look like to follow Jesus? I suppose the answer to this question can be different for each one of us since we each have a different purpose here on earth. When I became a mother though, I found that I had to think more seriously about what I looked like while following Christ. Were my feelings and love for God adequately conveyed through my actions? Because let’s face it, my kids will learn what it means to follow God by watching ME… wow, that is a humbling thought!
So how do I SHOW my kids what it is like to follow Jesus? By living my life purposefully! I need to purpose to show my kids a Christ-like example. I need to teach them how to respect and love God. I need show them that God is real and that he is always near.
So here are a few ways in which I PURPOSEFULLY show my children how to follow Jesus and what it means to be a Christian:
Do your devotions publicly. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep YOUR relationship with Jesus strong. When we rely on HIS strength daily, we do not have to rely on OUR strength when we get tired, discouraged, and broken. Simply doing your devotions isn’t enough though… your kids need to see you doing them! They need to know that God is important enough to learn about and take time out of your day for HIM. Even if you choose do your personal devotions in private, take the time to do simple devotions with your kids daily… the daily routine of reading God’s word will instill in them a respect for God and an understanding of his importance in your life..
Let your kids hear you pray. Do you pray a perfunctory prayer… the same prayer day after day after day?? There is time to change that! Let your kids here to TALK with God. The way you communicate with God will show your kids just how real and close He is to you. Do you tell Him how you feel? Do you thank Him for the blessings in your life? Do you ask Him specific answers prayers? Talk to Him as you would your family and you will teach your kids that God is your family… He is your heavenly FATHER!
Show them grace. Jesus was the ultimate example. If you want your kids to live like Jesus, you need to show them how JESUS lived! I am a huge proponent of actively and intentionally disciplining your children in a godly manner… but there are also times to show them grace! We are mere humans with a sin nature. We deserve death and being separated from God because of our sins, BUT God sent his only son Jesus to die for our sins. He has shown us the ultimate grace. Let’s show our children what a little bit of grace looks like!
Say “I’m sorry.” How many times a day do I feel like I failed?? More than I would like to admit! I am human and that sin nature I mentioned earlier… well, that gets the best of me at times. I believe it is important for our children to hear me say “I am sorry.” When I am wrong and have lost my temper, they need to hear my apologize. When I sin against someone else, my kids need to see me humble myself and ask for forgiveness. God has forgiven MY sins. My children need to know how to forgive me as well!!
There are so many more ways to show your children what it means to follow Jesus, but these are just a few of the ways that I strive to SHOW them. Jesus is the ultimate example… If I live like Jesus, my kids will learn to as well!
What tips do you have for me…something I can add to my simple little list here???