Recently I was talking with my 20 year old daughter who is home from college for the summer. As we were talking, she said something that made me sit up and pay attention! She said:
“I find myself saying things all the time that I used to hear you say, Mom.”
Wow – I have to say that the thought of her repeating my words was rather unsettling to me. It gave me pause, and made me think about what she may have heard often from me, that she was now repeating! I realized that she had been ECHOING MY WORDS!
So, I pursued the comment, and asked her what things were being repeated.
She gave the example of a friend at college who was concerned about whether or not she was doing enough for the Lord, or if she was where she should be spiritually. My daughter told her what I have often told my kids:
“Do you want to do right? Do you care about pleasing the Lord? If so, you’re okay! Your heart is in the right place for the Lord to use you, and help you to keep growing. It’s only a problem when you quit caring!”
Other times she told me that she gave advice based on what she saw me DO as a mom. Again – that’s a sobering thought. She was speaking based on what my example SAID!
I have said this often when speaking at conferences, and have written posts about it as well. But this conversation with my daughter confirms the truth of what I have taught and believed. Whether we like it or not, we better not forget this:
OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING US!! THEY ARE LISTENING TO US!
We need to constantly be aware of the influence we have on our kids through our words, and our actions, and ask ourselves:
What are they seeing?
What are they hearing?
What will they be repeating?
I’m so glad that God reminded me of this truth! It’s so easy to get slack in this area, and not be careful about how we speak, or even how we live. However, we need to always remember that little (and not so little!) eyes are watching what we do, and ears are hearing what we speak. Even when it seems like the kids may not really be listening, they are taking it in, so make your words count! Ask God to help you to use them wisely, and to be an example to your kids in word AND deed.