Children are keen observers of parents. Even when engrossed in some activity, they will often pick up on Mom or Dad’s behavior, speech, and thought patterns.
A huge responsibility, then, rests on parents—especially when it comes to how young ones will picture God. The way they think about the heavenly Father is largely influenced by how they relate to the male authority figures in their lives.
If you are involved in a child’s upbringing, be intentional about modeling godliness. You can do this by:
1. Hungering for God’s Word. Fathers who read scripture every day are demonstrating the confidence that it holds the answers to life’s problems. Your love and respect for the Bible will be contagious!
2. Living in faith. Children should hear their parents talk about how they trust Jesus to provide in each circumstance. There’s no better way to learn reliance on the Lord than to watch one’s parents turn to Him when they need direction.
3. Praying daily. Kids notice parental priorities and often set the same ones themselves. Mom and Dad can model talking to God in a real way, as if they are talking with another person. This helps children understand—and want—their own intimate relationship with the heavenly Father.
Reflect upon your own childhood—did your dad point you in a godly direction or provide an unbiblical example? How has that affected your spiritual walk? And if you have sons or daughters, ask them how your life influences theirs. Whatever their answer is, memorize Ephesians 6:4 and commit to follow its wisdom.