by Aleta Kay
It’s been said children learn what they live, and it is true. If you treat your children with anger, bitterness and rage they will be angry, bitter, resentful. They become bullies. They may get into fights, join gangs, grow up to be criminals. What kind of future do want for your children? Whether they want to or not, they will grow up to be like you. They learn their behavior from you, the parent. You are the closest role model they have.
Little children will follow their mom or dad everywhere they go. They will repeat the words they hear you say. They will mimic your gestures and actions. They want to be like you when they are little because they love you.
Many times when they grow up they don’t want to be like their parents. But the mold has been set; the die has been cast. No matter how hard they try, it has been ingrained. They, like every person ever born, were born sinners so the nature to do wrong was there from the beginning. No one has to teach a child to lie. It comes naturally. No one has to teach a child to blame their behavior on someone else. It comes naturally. They were born to sinful parents (as we all were and are) who teach by example and words to do that which is wrong.
However, there are some things some people are able to change. Many kids who have alcoholic parents determine in their hearts they will never drink. But some things are impossible change apart from seeking help from God, such as anger, rage, bitterness. These are the hardest things to overcome because they come from the heart. They are attitudes of the heart that will control everything else in a person’s life. This is why Ephesians 6:4 says, “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they become discouraged.”
Notice that it does not say mothers. The Bible clearly teaches that children need a father. When there is no father figure the mother has to take on both roles, which she was never meant to do. Sometimes there is no choice due to the death of the father or divorce. But children who grow up with just a mother and never have a clear idea of a father figure often lose part of their sense of identity and have a hard time learning what it means to be a man if there is no role model. These children (especially if they are boys) may grow up to be homosexual, seeking the love of a male figure they never had. Or they be angry all of their lives because they missed that relationship of father and son, or father and daughter.
So be careful of the example you set. Children learn what they live.