Monday, 20 June 2011

I'm watching you, Dad.

Fathers' Day Sunday and a chance to think about how we parent our children. Pastor Sarah showed a video. I'm watching you, Dad.

Our children and other young folk we come into contact with are watching how we respond to situations and how we respect other people. More than our genetic code for blue eyes, curly hair, ear lobes, they will learn to behave like us. Like the father in the video, if they see us deal justly with others, they will do the same.

Matthew 7
 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

Surely no parent would give a child a stone for bread. But do we give them faint praise for encouragement, listen with half an ear, dismiss their achievements or compare them unfavourably with others? Does work or do the chores come first? In a culture where children are often seen as a burden, a difficulty, I find it hard to be the only one praising my lovely boys for their faithfulness, their hard work and their contribution to the family.

On a recent course I learnt the behaviour management skill of modelling. Instead of instruction, you demonstrate the good behaviour you desire. This can be incredibly powerful and how good to use a positive model rather than 'don't do that'.

In trying to become more Christ-like I often am seen to fail, frequently by my closest ones. The pastor used the text.
1 John 3 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3
So we are not yet able to be perfect.

I have many weaknesses: like St Paul I have a constant thorn in my side. In fact, I should say thorns. But maybe it is just as important that our children see us fail and acknowledge that weakness, that they see us fight against temptation and sometimes lose. And that finally they see us accept 'not my will but thine,' stop striving to succeed and trust in God's provision and plan.

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3

Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday"


  1. I have taken a huge step out of my comfort zone and linked up with 'hear it, use it' at Graceful. I have been so blessed and encouraged by the writings of that community. Thank you.

  2. Hi Twiz,

    I just linked up with the Hear It Use It community too. We had a similar video shown at church that ended with the father kneeling and praying. The son came up and kneeled down beside him. It was very moving.

    My blog is Manifest Blog if you are interested.

    God Bless!

  3. Greetings from Southern California

    I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit TOGB and become a follower, if you want too.

    Take care and have a nice day :-)

  4. Thank you both for your comments.
    Love the Old Geezer blog and your testimony particularly how it shows the power of a praying woman.
    Stephen, I am also following Manifest and would like to encourage anyone who reads this post to afterwards read:

  5. Hi Twiz,
    First of all, let me say thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and linking up at Graceful this week -- I am so pleased to meet you here and read your wise reflections. And I hope you continue to find the writing of the other participants useful, too.

    Now, I have to admit, I am guilty of so many of the flaws you mentioned when it comes to parenting my kids. I am sometimes quick to criticize and slow to praise; I raise my voice too often and lose my patience; and I am apt to "tune out" from time to time, especially when I am getting a play-by-play review of Super Mario Brothers.

    That said, I am comforted by your observation that we are "not yet able to be perfect." That is such a hopeful and profound observation -- and I thank you for that tonight.

    Hope you continue to step out of your comfort zone and link up at Hear It, Use It again!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...