I was browsing in a used book shop when an irate customer stormed in and loudly demanded a refund. When the man couldn’t get what he wanted, he began swearing at the clerk. He continued the tirade for several minutes as a girl of 7 or 8 stood passively at his side. Eventually he stomped out of the store, cursing as he went, with the little girl following close behind.
I wondered if the girl was his daughter. If so, what did she learn from her dad that afternoon? More important, the event caused me to ask, “What does my daughter learn from me at home and all the places we go together?” She learns a lot more from watching my behavior than from all my little talks about life and God.
“Fathers,” the Bible says, “do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). This speaks to me of my own relationship with Christ and the example I live before my children. Only as I submit to God’s training and instruction can I bring up my children in His way.
There are children watching us today, deciding what to believe about life and God. What are they learning from us?
No written word nor spoken plea
Can teach young hearts what they should be,
Nor all the books upon the shelves,
But what the teachers are themselves. —Bennett
Actions speak louder than words.