How Our Example Shapes the Future

A Powerful Example

When my husband and I were dating, we were attending a small church in North Carolina. On Sundays and Wednesdays, my husband would go by my apartment, pick me up, and then we would arrive together at the church. One night, a youth that my husband worked with made the insinuation that Matthew and I lived together. When he refuted the remark, the youth said that since we arrived together at the church in the same vehicle that we must live together. Not realizing the appearance that our innocent arrangement gave, we decided right then we would no longer ride together to church until we were married.

Our example is powerful, especially if we are raising or working with children. Being that I am around my children all the time (because I stay at home), my son and daughter will most likely imitate me than my husband. This realization humbles me so much that I am constantly checking my actions for traits that I do not wish to pass on to my children.

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Parallel Examples

In Hosea 2, Gomer’s children were instructed to bring charges against their mother. It is hard to imagine a mother listening to children read out her sins. However, Gomer was not a typical mother. Her immoral life was not secret from their eyes. They had a front row seat in witnessing her sinful deeds. God also states that He “will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry.” Since her children were privy to her ways, they would most likely be shaped by her example.

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Beyond the mother and child relationship, Gomer, here, was a symbol of the nation of Israel.  Her children were individual Israelites.  The descendants of Israel would not have the mercy of God because they were shaped by the sins of Israel as a nation. Those sins involved idol worship and turning away from God. These practices would most likely continue resulting in God with-holding His mercy.

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In parallel, let’s look at the virtuous woman depicted in Proverbs 31. Her example was one of caring for her family and honoring God in her actions. She has the trust of her husband as well as the duty of looking after the needs of her household. Her goals were set up for the furthering of her family, not in perverse pleasure. In verse 28, this woman’s children and husband “rise up and call her blessed.” They offer up praise for her mother. This is clear opposite of Gomer. Gomer’s children are told to condemn her, while the virtuous woman’s family blesses her.

Intentional Example

Our example is extremely important. As mothers and wives, we are to strive to be the example of the virtuous woman and more importantly, of Christ. How are we to do this?

First, we teach our children about God and His love. Read the Bible to your children. Make it a habit to also discuss Scripture and how to apply it to our lives. More importantly, live out your faith in front of them. If you sin, ask forgiveness from God and your children. Show them the mercy and grace that God showed you.

Secondly, take care of your family first. I am not in any way saying to forget about you or your health. Be healthy and take time for yourself, but do not neglect caring for your family in a way that only you can. Show your family love while taking care of their needs.

Cultivate an example that reflects God in every aspect to your children. By doing this, you will shape their future as well.

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5 thoughts on “How Our Example Shapes the Future

  1. You are absolutely right! Those kids are watching our every move. One day when my oldest was small, she was unhappy with me and clapped her hands at me angrily. I was about to spank her for being disrespectful when I realized I did it to her all the time. I needed the correction!

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