Our family gathers to eat dinner in a round room that has ten windows wrapping half-way around it, granting us a great view of our neighborhood. One of our favorite dinnertime entertainments this summer happened on Thursdays. On those nights our across-the-street neighbor Eric came out to mow his lawn. Never far behind him was his one-year-old son Pearson with his own lawnmower. Now, you have to understand that Pearson is precious just standing and doing nothing, but his cuteness on these nights was exceptional. Pearson kept his eyes fixed on his dad, and was careful to make every move that his daddy made. His dad leaned over to turn his mower on, he also leaned over. His dad made a sharp turn, he made a sharp turn.
It got me thinking about the influence we have on our children as parents. The lawnmowing is fun to watch, but it is only one aspect of Pearson’s life that he is looking to imitate his dad. As his dad speaks with loving and gracious words in a difficult situation, Pearson learns kindness and grace. As Eric wraps Pearson up in his arms, wrestles, and laughs with him, Pearson learns how to love and be loved. As Pearson catches his dad reading the Bible and hears his dad pray, he learns that there is a loving Father that his own father draws strength from and depends on daily. It makes me think of the song by Phillips Craig and Dean that says, “Lord, I want to be just like You, cause he wants to be just like me.”
It also makes me wonder if my eyes are set enough on my Heavenly Father. The Bible tells me if I have seen Jesus I have seen the Father. In difficult situations, do I turn to his loving and gracious words, feeling his kindness and grace not only toward me but through me to others? When I feel insecure and unworthy, do I allow God to wrap me up in his love by worshipping Him through song and meditating on the truths and promises in His Word, which helps me to understand His unconditional love to the depths of my soul? Do I imitate Jesus’ daily time in the Word and in prayer because I know to the core of being that I can do nothing apart from His strength?
“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your Name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart. I will glorify your Name forever.” Psalm 86:11. And as I do these things, may my children do the same.