Friday, April 15, 2011

Teach by example

Today I caught Ian "reading" a book. It was a board book... you know, the ones with cardboard pages. I noticed that before he turned the pages he would give his finger a quick lick.

It was SO cute I had to take his picture.

I had to laugh, knowing that his finger licking wasn't doing a lick of good! You only need to wet your finger if you're turning a regular sheet of paper.

It immediately brought a Bible verse to mind:

"But be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
I Timothy 4:12

I never once told Ian he had to lick his fingers if he wanted to turn a page in a book. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know I was doing it so frequently! Ian didn't know why he was doing it, he just saw me do it and thought that is how you're supposed to read a book.

If he's learning how to turn pages in a book by watching me, what else is he learning? Ian is two now and we noticed that his "terrible two's" have started. He likes to break out in screaming... especially when we walk into stores. Where did he learn that? Maybe I'm not always in control of my actions, so he hasn't learned to be in control of his.

This verse in I Timothy is a gentle reminder to me of how to teach others. I don't have to tell everyone (namely my kids) what they should be doing, but they will learn if only I will live the way Christ has taught us. 

How can we know and live what Christ taught us? There is no short answer. In fact, the answer is long... we have to spend lots of time with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. Lots of time is the key. I'm trying to learn this.

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