Attention Fathers! Little Eyes Are Watching
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (ESV)
Theodore and Nancy Faust Sizer authored the book The Students are Watching. The Sizers wrote about classrooms and schools, explaining that students learn from what their teachers do and say, and also from the things their teachers do not do or say. One significant finding from the book was “They watch us all the time. The students, that is. They listen to us sometimes. They learn from all that watching and listening.” Children are also learning at home. They are watching both parents. Daughters look to their father to understand what is a Godly man. Sons learn from their father how to treat women. Much of what our children learn at home is learned by watching.
The most important thing with children is what you do, not what you say. How effective is it for a father to tell his son not to use tobacco while the father is smoking a cigarette? As a young boy, I was always watching my father. I understood that his words were true because they were supported by his actions. I was blessed because he brought me up in accordance with Ephesians 6:4. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the
Lord.” My father not only made sure I attended church to hear the Word proclaimed, but he did his best to model authentic manhood for me by showing kindness to strangers, those in need, and loving my mother.
Our prisons are filled with young men that grew up without a father present in the house. Sadly, many times when the father was present he was not engaged in raising the child. Proverbs 22:6 teaches us, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
It has been said that the best sermons are lived and not preached. This is not meant to diminish the importance of the spoken Word. The Word is powerful and is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. It is meant to emphasize the importance of what we do because little eyes are watching to see if our actions correspond to our words.
In Exodus 18, we learn how Jethro, father-in-law, to Moses helps Moses to set boundaries.
“When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” (Exodus 18:14). In Exodus 18:17-18, Jethro tells Moses, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” Jethro encouraged Moses to select Elders to serve as judges for the simple cases and only bring the difficult cases to Moses.
Prayer: Thank you for the blessing of children. May be always be mindful of our joyful responsibility to properly raise them. Keep us mindful of our words and actions so that they will help us to raise up children that seek you first. Amen.
About the Author:
Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the Secretary of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, Database Coordinator for Gulf South Men, and volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, Iron Sharpens Iron, Open Air Ministries, HOPE Ministries food pantry. Todd is currently preparing to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men.