Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. -Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
When we’re traversing mountains and valleys, it’s not just our friends and family who we need to know are watching how God carries us in our travels. It’s also our children, from small to large, and our words, actions, and reactions to circumstances that teach them far more than anything we tell them they should be saying or doing.
Do we tell our children they need to act one way when we don’t do it ourselves? Do we exhibit the gentleness, humility, love, compassion, and honesty we expect in our offspring?
I think the honest answer from us would be no, not all the time. We are very flawed, and will fail in the way we treat others, as well as in how we react to circumstance.
But God’s love and forgiveness and grace are greater than our faults and weaknesses and frailties. We can show our children how to take comfort in Him through the hard times. We can show them how He works through us to be graceful when our flesh screams in outrage. We can show them a servant heart to honor our Servant King.
There’s an excellent page on the topic of teaching your children to trust in the midst of trials. Among many other things, it stresses that parents have their children put on the full armor of God each day. (We might want to remember to do that ourselves as an example!) Once their armor is on, just like their parents, they will be better prepared to deal with a very crafty adversary who will try to trip them up!
Read more from the article, “Teaching Children To Trust In The Midst Of Trials.”
Remember, fellow believer, we are the models in word and deed as our children–even grown ones–unwittingly study everything we do. Our part in the Great Commission starts at home, then radiates outward!