Parenting by Example

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?

6 thoughts on “Parenting by Example

  1. Thank you for this reminder to truly live out our faith. It is easy to get caught up in the teaching and yet leave out the “living”. One point I think that is crucial to showing our kids how to live a holy and pure life is to admit when there is sin. I don’t mean sin in our children’s lives most of us have no problem there, rather the sin in our own life. When they see us sin (treating our spouse in an ungodly manner or watching a provocative show) and don’t see us repent or admit our wrongs, they see this as as open door to follow suit. May we humble ourselves to turn to our children and admit we fall short, but that God’s grace and love spurs us on to turn from our sinful desires, to get up and live for Him.

    • Thank you very much for this encouragement. We agree that we all need to lead lives of repentance, confession, and humility, particularly as parents. As you point out, our actions speak volumes, including our actions related to responding to sin and failures (1 John 1:9) in our own lives.

  2. Pingback: Not-So-Smart Phone Use | pureHOPE

  3. Pingback: A Parenting Lesson From Jesus | pureHOPE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s