Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
The story is told about a bald man and his wife who, when they went out to a special dinner, left their children at home with a babysitter. However, the babysitter got interested in a TV program and neglected to carefully watch the children. Unfortunately, the young son got a hold of his father's electric shaver and shaved off a wide strip of hair right down the middle of his head.
When the parents arrived home, father was furious. In no uncertain terms he reminded the son that he had been told NEVER to touch dad's shaver.
He was just about to give his son a spanking when the son said, "Wait until you see sister!" Oops! he had shaved off all her hair!
Dad was really furious now and as he grabbed a hold of his son to give him a spanking of his life, the son said, "But Daddy! We were just wanting to look like you!"
As it has been said so well, "We raise not the children we want, but the children that we the parents are!"
A vital part of my own growth was when I came to the realization that in many ways I was just like my own father -- with many of his good and bad characteristics. It was easy to accept the good, but very shocking to see and admit that I, too, had some of the qualities that I did not like in him.
It is a reality of life that children, more often than not, copy and do what we parents model -- not what we tell them they should do and be.
Dear Lord, please help us to be more and more like Jesus so that our children, seeing you in use, will also want you in them. In Jesus' name. Amen.