Wednesday June 7, 2006
Influence by Example
The fathers in the Old Testament serve as a warning to modern dads about the
impact of a parent’s example. Many godly men were fatherhood failures, and their children paid a hefty price. Jacob’s sons mimicked his conniving and manipulative behavior. King David neglected discipline and, as a result, several of his sons were involved in despicable activities. His heir, Solomon, was an equally poor father, whose son joined a rebellion against the king.
In spite of their faith, Jacob, David, and Solomon provided a negative role model for their children. Unfortunately, biblical examples of poor fathers outnumber the good. But the gospels mention a man whose sons reflect well on their dad’s parenting skills. No specific details are given to describe how Zebedee brought up the disciples James and John, but he is significant because he did what many Christians try to do today: raise God-following children. Zebedee’s training prepared his sons for a life of intimate fellowship with the Messiah. It’s a reasonable assumption that he modeled discipline, respect for authority, and persistence, because his sons demonstrated those traits while following Jesus Christ.
Your children will reflect the traits they observe in you. Living in your presence every day, your kids see past any façade that might fool the rest of the world. They monitor your attitude about vocational work and household chores. Little ears pick up on how you talk about others, and little eyes watch your response to difficult circumstances. What kind of example do your children see?
Celebrate Fathers this month. Discover what our heavenly Father expects of dads and how He equips them to raise godly sons and daughters in Dr. Stanley’s series “How-To’s for Fathers.”
Breaking News: How to Handle Your Emotions is the latest elective now online at the Charles Stanley Institute of Christian Living! This expansive course focuses on Dr. Stanley's powerful 12-sermon series by the same name. In this course, students not only learn the basics of a healthy, biblical, and positive love for themselves, but they will also target some of the most potentially explosive emotions, including self-image, anxiety, loneliness, guilt, anger, depression, and rejection. Included in this for-pay elective course is a hand-signed copy of Dr. Stanley's book, Finding Peace, which brings further emphasis to the areas of regret, anxiety, and fear.