When she was about 18 months old, our older daughter was convinced that every book in the house not belonging to her belonged to daddy. Why might she have concluded this? Simply, he was always reading.
It occurred to me that she didn’t think any of the books were mine because she never saw me read. She didn’t associate my Bible with me because she never saw me read it. I read her books to her, but she had never noticed me reading a book for me.
I had heard that children who see mom or dad reading or who even have lots of books in the home tend to place a higher value on reading because they know that mom and dad value it. Classic monkey see, monkey do, right?
It’s a little scary to think how much of her upbringing is simply watching me. Can she see what is important by following me around the house during the day? What I say certainly can’t undo what she sees me do.
I’m learning that I must intentionally and obviously act out how I want her to learn to live. This goes from the small things like taking our shoes off at the door and closing cabinet doors softly, to bigger things like being gentle with her sister, speaking to her daddy with respect, and dressing appropriately. I must use the language I want her to use. I have to put down the smart phone and really listen to people if I want her to value people over media.
I’m far from a perfect model. So even in that, I have the opportunity to model for her how to respond to and be changed by the Gospel of Christ.
Day in and day out, how do I model in a concrete way the method God uses to change me with the Gospel for my girls? They must see me reading the Word. Frankly, she has needed to see me read a physical copy of God’s Word at home – not see me scrolling on my phone again.
Now, “Momma’s Bible,” are word’s in her vocabulary with meaning.
I’m quite confident that our kids aren’t the only ones watching us, processing how we model life. Our coworkers are watching, our extended family is watching, our neighbors are watching. What do they see? Do they see a life changed by Jesus? Not a perfect life, but one that is different than it could be.
Comment below a way you work to model Jesus to others!