Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Power of Modeling

Recently, I pulled off the shelf a book we have that helps parents apply particular texts to particular character and life issues that face our children and family.

I read the following verse, "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him." (Ps. 103:13). I immediately thought, "I can't teach this. I'm not compassionate. They've never get this." How my soul ached. I felt debilitated in sharing God's word with them because of my deficiency in character.

This morning I heard a talk based on the following verse: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it" (2 Timothy 3:14)

(An older pict of Malachi)

Can I and we appeal the the hearts of our kids and friends for the sake of the gospel saying, "Remember who you learned this from..." (i.e. me, for one) Paul sometimes say, imitate me. This is a penetrating question not just because it exposed the dark corners of our character but we then have to distinguish the difference between our "moral" example and our Christian example---that is, in what respect is Christ unambiguously and blatantly savored and glorified, not just "God", "church", "bible reading", "heaven", etc.

Last night, some good friends of ours gave us a date. We talk about how often we and others sometimes use the excuse, "But I never had an example for _________; so that's why I can't do this well (in life, marriage, parenting...)"

We have to find out what those areas are that (1) hinder our ability to teach the whole word of God, displaying Christ as our treasure, & (2) may be family bondages for which we have no example to draw from (perhaps, our families rarely spoke about personal matters, never openly celebrated the glories of Christ in conversation, romance between spouses,....)

As you pray for yourself, please pray for us.
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