Philippians 3:12-17

I will never forget a young boy who came up to me after a men’s prayer meeting. For some time, his grandmother had been fighting cancer, and the news kept getting worse and worse. This child shared that his family had prayed together for many months. And with excitement, he added that they had just gotten word the cancer was gone.

There is no better way for kids to learn to pray. This child’s parents didn’t just speak about bringing requests to God; they modeled it. As a result, the lesson will stay with their son throughout his life.

This example demonstrates a powerful principle: Kids learn best when taught by example. They watch everything Mom and Dad do—and they’re great imitators.

Think about all the positive and negative ways this truth can play out. For example, if we want children to be obedient to the Lord, we are wise to live godly lives in front of them. And if we pray in a fervent, honest way, they are likely to learn that habit as well, and turn to God for guidance, strength, and security. On the other hand, we might think of habits or choices that we hope the kids won’t pick up. That’s why it’s a good idea to take “inventory” of the lessons that our lives are teaching about faith, values, friends, priorities, and finances.

Consider what your children will be like if they follow in your footsteps exactly. Then think about which areas of your life might need adjustment. Pray for discernment—and the strength to make any necessary changes. Remember, your offspring will likely reflect your life, so be sure that you are a reflection of God to them.