A parent feels that their child's behaviour is a reflection on them.
Reference: v.6 Observe them (God's decrees and laws) carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." (NIV Bible)
Explore: The other night I attended an information session at my daughter's school. All students and parents were asked to attend a meeting to learn about the next stage of education for the pupils. Most of the students were keen to sit with their friends, however they were asked to sit beside their parents. While I did listen very carefully to the information given during this meeting I also enjoyed looking around the room to see how much or little children looked like their parents! On the way home my daughter, Joy, commented on how strict one of the mothers was with their child. As they were sitting closer to the front they were easy to observe and Joy had noticed the mother's stern looks and actions everytime her child moved or made any noise. I tried to explain to Joy that the mother would have felt that her child's behaviour was a reflection on her. If the child was well behaved then other's would perceive that she was a good mother. However if the child misbehaved then other's would think that she was a poor mother. While this perception is totally false, I was pretty sure this mother felt her child's behaviour represented how well or poorly she parented.
Explore: While children do learn a great deal from their parents, they also have the choice to make their own decisions. There are some loving parents whose children are taking drugs. There are some caring parents whose children skip school. There are some wonderful parents whose children search the wrong internet sites on the computer. We can do our very best as parents however children are still going to make their own decisions. Even God experienced this with the Israelites. Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate parent. He gave His children guidance, provisions and leadership and yet they still chose their own way and went down the road to destruction. And believe it or not, we're still doing the same today. If children were a complete reflection of the parent then we Christians are doing a terrible job at representing God's parenting skills! While God is so much greater than any of His children, it is our responsibility to reflect Him here on earth as best as we can. Because just like the family sitting close to the front at a meeting, people are watching.
Prayer: Lord, You are the most loving, caring, disciplined parenting example. May we strive to love others as You have loved us. Amen.
If someone was to observe your life, what would it tell others about God?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.