We heard silly giggles behind us. We knew exactly what it was. They do it every time we hug and kiss. We turned around to see and both were standing there with grins spread across their faces. We held out our hands, "Come on!" They ran to us, jumped up in our arms and we had one big happy group hug. They love it. We love it.
Then the other day my 4 year old said something that was very inappropriate. Not a curse word but a comment that was extremely ugly. It stopped me in my tracks. I turned to discipline her. When I was done telling her not to ever say that again, and how Jesus wants us to be careful of every word we say, and that He says in the Bible that we should only speak words that are kind, she looked at me and said, "But Mama, you said that one time." Whoa. She was right. I had.
My point...they are listening. More than we think. They are watching. Every.single.move.
And I often forget that what we say and do in our home is literally forming the lives of the little people who live here.
We want them to one day love their spouse. To speak love and to show it. To respect each other. To honor one another as long as they both shall live. In sickness and in health. For better or for worse.
We want them to share. To obey. To be kind. To love others. To speak kindly. To forgive. To see the needs of others. To be generous.
We want them to have faith in God. To depend on Him. To trust Him. To love Him more than anything else.
We want them to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God.
To pray without ceasing.
To be joyful. And to serve the Lord with gladness. To be slow to anger. Slow to speak. And quick to listen.
To be content. Humble. Grateful. To work hard. To serve others. And be responsible.
To be trustworthy and honest. To speak words of life. Pleasant words. Words that are sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
We want them to practice self-control. Meekness. Temperance. Gentleness. Goodness.
We want them to have a relationship, not just practice the ritual. To know that all that glitters is not gold. And that our true worth does not come from worldly possessions.
That we are told to count it all joy when we experience trials in this life because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint.
But do we live it out?
When we experience trials do we count it all joy? When the air conditioner breaks and the car dies; when the bills stack up and we are short on funds; when our spouse irritates us and lets us down. When we get tired and worn out with all the expectations. All the hurry, noise, and busy. When we get angry do we speak words that build up or tear down?
When we are frustrated and tired, do we extend mercy and grace to those around us? Do we gossip and tear down others when we are hurt or disappointed in someone? Do we love the unlovable in ways that they can see?
We say it over and over. Day after day. We can quote scripture. We can even teach them scripture. And we should...
But how much more affective would it be if we actually LIVED what we said?
As the old saying goes, "so much more is caught than is taught". I believe it.