1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,”
I can still remember when my son was little (around 2 or 3). He would follow me around outside and literally try to do everything I did. If I was working on the car he would get his little step stool and climb up next to me. If I was in the garden, he would have his little bucket and help me pick the vegetables. He would imitate me in just about every way.
The most flattering, however, was watching him imitate my preaching. Even before he could talk well, he would come home after I had preached at the Children’s Home Chapel and grab his little step stool, get up on it with his little Gideon New Testament, raise it up in his tiny, little hand and say, “Ooo Ah, Ooo, Ah, Ooo Ah!” I never knew I sounded like that. Lol
We don’t necessarily want our children to imitate everything we do, however. Am I right? We mess up sometimes. But because they are watching, we need to make sure when we do mess up, we make it right quick. Our ultimate goal is to teach them to imitate, not us, but Christ in us. Paul said that in this verse. He said “imitators of us and of the Lord.” Paul knew that he was not worthy of imitation, but the Lord certainly was.
So, what of the Lord in you do you want your children to imitate? “Oh Carl, I can’t think of anything.” Well, that’s a problem. Your children are going to imitate or model their life on someone. You need to do all you can to point them to the only prototype worthy of imitation – Jesus Christ. If they can’t see Him in you, you must correct that.
Do you love others selflessly? Do you put others before yourself? Do you give to others without expectation of repayment? Do you…you fill in the blank. As long as we have children in our home, we are to be mindful of the lessons we are teaching. We teach because we want them to learn. So, teach Christ. Teach them to model their lives in His image.
Father of all, reshape me into the very image of Christ so others will only see Him in me. Let the first thing they see in me be Christ. Let the last thing they see in me be Christ.