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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

What Are We Teaching

When my girls were little they loved to see my Uncle Larry move his false teeth around in his mouth. He would not take them out he would just move the bottom ones back and forth! They would giggle and ask him to do it again. He would tell them to try and they would move their jaws all kind of ways but could not do it. He loved to do it so they would get frustrated trying! But it backfired on him! He had taken the girls and I to the bazaar at my Granny's church. Uncle Larry was single and he was busy chatting with a lady. She bent down and told my girls she knew they loved their Uncle Larry. She went on commenting on how funny he was. Sarah piped up and said, "Uncle Larry, show her how you can move your teeth around." That was one of the only times I have sent him at a loss of words! I am sure he wished, at that moment, that he could undo what he had taught my girls!

There are plenty of times in my life that I wish I could undo what my kids saw me doing, or not doing. Our actions far outweigh our words. I think back to my parents and grandparents and what I learned from them. The most significant things were the things they did. Devotionals, prayer time, serving others, visiting, living in faith were all things shown to me. If we want to teach our kids to love God, they need to see us love God. And if we want them to learn to love people, they have to see us love people. We are shaped by a variety of outside forces.

Luke 6: 40, "The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher." Luke tells us that the student will become like their teacher. The student will not become what the teacher tells them to do. The student will become like the teacher - who they see that teacher is. Our children will learn the most about faith from watching us on our faith journey. Charles Swindoll said, "Each day of our life we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." When my Dad had a stroke and could not speak and had less than a week to live I remember telling him all that I thought I needed for him to hear. I told him I knew he loved me so much. Most importantly, I got to tell him that even if he could have never spoken, he taught me so much about faith and love. I pray I can show my girls a fraction of that.

The verse prior says, "He also told them this parable: “'Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?'" In other words, it would end up a tragedy! In Matthew 15, Matthew quotes this parable identifying the Pharisees as the blind guides. In this parable, the blind are the hypocrites who point out other's sin without recognizing their own. Jesus is the greatest teacher. He embodies generosity, forgiveness, grace and mercy. He is our example. Our goal is not to be good but be godly. We are to be Christ like, extending grace to others. Our children will follow our example, not our advice.

What are we teaching those who are watching us?


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