“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12b (New Living Translation)
Example is one of the most powerful messages you have. In this scripture we are being told to be an example in love, faith and purity. This is one of the best scriptures for single parents to model. Living by example will send a much more powerful message to your kids than anything you can say.
When I first became a single parent I have to admit, I didn’t set a very good example for my kids. But thankfully the Lord brought me around and when I went to His word, I found example after example of how I should parent my children by myself. Isn’t that ironic that we are told to be an example and when you go to His word, God teaches us by example. Jesus taught by example also when he was with the disciples.
Saying one thing to your children but doing something different yourself only serves to confuse your children. Our actions and words have to match each other if we are to make sense to our children. Why not take the confusion out of their lives by living by example what you want from them?
Let’s say you are on the phone and your child just has to tell you something. You tell your child not to interrupt you when you are on the phone. The next day your child gets a phone call and you interrupt by asking, “Did you do your homework yet?” What did you just do? What did you just model?
Another way of thinking about this is to think about honoring your children. We all want our children to honor and love us as their parent. But do you model honor to them? Ephesians 6:1 (NLT) “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” You can honor your children by setting the example for them. Honor God first and do this in front of your children in word, in deed and in the way you live your life.
Make the words “in your love, your faith, and your purity” your motto this month.
Linda Ranson Jacobs of Healthy Loving Partnerships 4 can be contacted at Linda@hlp4.com.