A core concept of our purePARENTING message is that when it comes to sexual purity, parents must lead by example. You can’t give away what you don’t have; as C.S. Lewis put it: “None can give another what he does not possess himself. No generation can bequeath to its successor what it has not got.”
The Bible confirms this. Biblical, God-centered parenting begins with the mandate that the words of Scripture be in our heart AND that we teach them diligently to our children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Note the progression: the Word of God alive in us, then communicated to our children–in word and deed.
This is especially true regarding sexual attitudes and behavior. If we are tolerant of impure thoughts, words, actions, or media in our lives and households, this will over time communicate to our children that sexual integrity and purity is not central, is not important, perhaps that it is not possible, and that it is actually not God’s will for us–even though the Bible makes clear that it is.
This article on leading by example as a parent hits the nail on the head. “Observational learning” is a huge part of childhood, and because of that, parenting is not first about telling your kids what to do–it is about being the person God would have you be and living a pure and virtuous life that produces the fruit of the Spirit. Kids are smart, and they are sponges; when we walk uprightly, they see it, and they will learn. Modeling virtue is never a wasted effort.
“As often as you might say to them, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ your continual actions will speak louder than your words.”
Food for thought:
- Have you made a covenant with your eyes as a parent?
- What media are you allowing into your house, and what does it communicate?
- Do you turn the channel when inappropriate images come up?
- Where are you going online?
- Are you examining the purity of your language and humor? Your clothing?
- Do you honor and show affection to your spouse in the presence of your kids?