While waiting for an eye examination, I was struck by a statement I saw in the optometrist’s office: “Eighty percent of everything children learn in their first 12 years is through their eyes.” I began thinking of all that children visually process through reading, television, film, events, surroundings, and observing the behavior of others, especially their families. On this Father’s Day, we often think about the powerful influence of a dad.

Paul urged fathers not to frustrate their children to the point of anger, but to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Think of the powerful example of a dad whose behavior and consistency inspire admiration from his children. He’s not perfect, but he’s moving in the right direction. A great power for good is at work when our actions reflect the character of God, rather than distort it.

That’s challenging for any parent, so it’s no coincidence that Paul urges us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (v.10). Only through His strength can we reflect the love and patience of our heavenly Father.

We teach our children far more from how we live than by what we say.