My youngest son was busy with something the day after I mailed the September Newsflash. He had created on his own newsletter. My family and I had a lot of fun when he read it to us. We especially enjoyed his paraphrase of one of our memory verses! His version of Philippians 2:14 read like this: “Do all things without murderings and disputings.” I’ll get to the correct wording of that verse soon, but when you think about it, My son’s version is not far from the truth!
The fact that my son imitated me in making his own newsletter reminded me of an important principle in parenting (and homeschooling!):
Your Children – They Are Watching You!
From the moment they are born until the day they leave your home, your children are studying and learning from what you do. I don’t believe that anything goes unnoticed at some level. I think it even extends to what you do when you are away from them. Everything that goes into your life comes out in some way through your children. What parent hasn’t said something to their children and then suddenly realized that they sounded like their own parents? The principle of sowing and reaping is definitely active when it comes to your children.
My wife and I chose Philippians 2:14 as a memory verse because it is the type of behavior we would like our children to exhibit. But, there is much more to this verse when you apply it to yourself! Let’s look at this verse in context.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (KJV)
Ultimately, we want to “rejoice in the day of Christ” because our children are there with us. What a joyful day that will be if all our children are there as believers in Jesus Christ! Isn’t that what we are doing, raising our children unto the Lord? Isn’t that the most important reason we chose to homeschool them? If so, then let us look at how we are doing that!
Verse 14 speaks to our attitudes. I believe it tells us to lead our families with a servant’s heart! This is the self-sacrificing love that Jesus modeled for us. In living this way before our children, we give them the example of how to live. They will then naturally imitate what we do. But, if we complain and argue our way through life, our children will learn to complain and argue. At this point you may be saying to yourself, that it just isn’t that simple. You’re right! It isn’t that easy.
Verse 15 points out that we live in “a crooked and perverse nation.” Have you ever wondered where your children learned some of their behaviors? I know that I have allowed a lot of bad influences into my children’s lives. I didn’t mean to do it. It just happened along the way. Maybe you have seen some of this, too. We are supposed to “shine as lights in the world.” That is what our children need us to be for them!
Have you ever had something turn out all wrong, even though you worked your hardest to make it work out right? I’m sure that all of us have experienced that at one time or another. That is the definition of having “labored in vain.” Verse 16 holds the key so that this is not so with our families. We need to be active in “holding forth the word of life.” Think about what you hold forth moment by moment in your daily life. Is it God’s word, or something else. Your children will see and imitate what you hold forth as important.
There are rich promises in these three verses. It’s good fruit. Do not run or labor in vain. Do all things without murmurings (or murderings!) and disputings. Your children are watching you!