They Learn by Watching You

This memorable PSA from the 80's teaches a valuable & sobering lesson: kids learn from their parents. This also has biblical support as well. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the LORD is preparing the children of Israel before occupying the promised land. He instructs the fathers to know God, love God and keep God's Word. He also instructs them to instruct their children in the ways and works of God.  The result, to use the words of Asaph from Psalm 78, "so that they should set their hope in God."  Asaph goes on to express another result, negatively, "that they should not be like their fathers."
The idea in Deuteronomy 6 about binding God's Word on your hand, or between your eyes and writing them on your doorposts and your gates, isn't the OT equivalent of wearing "clever" Christian tees, WWJD bracelets (boy that's been while!), hanging Home Interior framed Scriptures all over the house and sticking a Jesus fish on your car.  While none of this is inherently wrong, it misses the point.  The idea is for parents to LIVE in such a way that God and His Word is a normal part of everyday life in and around the home.  The goal is for children to see Monday thru Saturday Who & what their parents claim to love on Sunday.  And you can be sure - the children WILL see.  Hopefully our children will see our passion for the Lord and pursue the same for themselves.  It's been my humble opinion - at least humanly speaking - that the main reason children walk away from the faith once they're out of the home is because they never saw it in the home.
This is a great challenge and heavy responsibility for those of us with the blessed title of parent.  We should think hard on these things.  I'll conclude with a quote from J.C. Ryle, a 19th century pastor from England, from his little book, Duties for Parents:
Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear. No school will make such deep marks on character as home…. Imitation is a far stronger principle with children than memory….Take care, then, what you do before a child. I is a true proverb, ‘Who sins before a child, sins double.’

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