The past two years of my life have been amazing. My wife and I had our first child, Amelia. Life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs but those ups quickly outweighed the downs. Nothing beats seeing your child smile or hearing your child laugh.
One thing I have learned as a parent is how children are like sponges. They absorb everything. Your child is watching you more than you will ever realize. They see and hear everything you do. Every word you say, your child hears. It makes you think harder about the words you choose to say around them, right? We try to be careful around children to make sure they do not say words they should not, but what about our actions?
Not only are our words important, but as parents, our actions are just as important. We have a high calling as parents to lead our children in many ways. One of those ways is holiness. Your children are watching and learning from your actions. Do you portray holiness to them?
Now obviously you will never be perfect, that is not what I am saying. I am also not saying to act fake in front of your children. They will find out if you are being fake. I am calling you to be genuine with them. Take them along your walk of faith with you. Show them how to follow the Lord genuinely in their lives. Be honest, open, and vulnerable with them. Holiness is found when you are totally devoted to the Lord with everything in your life.
One story we see in the Bible about holiness is in the book of Joshua. The Israelite army was a force to be reckoned with. They had the Lord on their side going into battle. The Lord was their strength and key to victory. Without the Lord, they would not win. God gave them specific rules to not keep the plunder from the people they defeated. They were called to obey the Lord and He would be on their side in battle.
The Israelites were winning battle after battle in the name of the Lord. Then there was an Israelite man named Achan. Achan decided one day that he would take some of the plunder from the next battle and hide it. He buried his sin in secret so that no one would know that he was hiding anything. In doing so, he disobeyed the Lord and thought he could get away with it.
The Lord, however, knew exactly what was going on. You cannot hide sin from the Lord. In the next battle, the Israelites went in thinking the Lord was on their side, but He was not. They lost. They wondered how they could lose if God was on their side. God pointed out the sin that was in the camp and that they lost because of it. One man’s sin caused the whole army to fail. It was not just the sin though, it was the hiding of sin. Sin has an impact on ourselves and those around us. We must realize this as parents. We cannot continue in sin and think it is okay. We cannot hide in our sin either.
We are called to be holy. This does not mean we can be perfect, but we are called to be set apart. We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Lord as followers. We must raise our children to know what genuine faith in the Lord is. We must show them in our actions how to be holy and surrender everything to the Lord. Show them how to go through struggles and surrender to the Lord. Show them how to get help and accountability where needed. Show them how to love the Lord with everything we have.
Children are like sponges. They soak it all up. They learn from your actions and words. Make sure we are setting our examples in the Lord, and not ourselves.
“As obedient children,
do not be conformed to the passions
of your former ignorance,
but as he who called you is holy,
you also be holy in all your conduct,
since it is written,
‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
1 Peter 1:14-16