I recently saw a tv commercial for bottled water where the little boy does exactly as his father does. Every movement, every choice he made, he did because his father did so first. I have noticed the same to be true of my boys. They are looking at their daddy to see how they should behave.
I was talking with my mother just this week about how different things are now. Saying things like: “please, thank you or yes sir or ma’am” have gone out the window. Boys no longer open doors for girls as they once did, why should they, she can get it herself. In public, you see these young men berating their girlfriends instead of treating her like a lady and you have to wonder, where they are learning that behavior.
I am not trying to place the blame solely on the dads, however, your boys are watching you whether you realize it or not. Do you ask for things politely or do you make demands? When you go through the door, do you step back and let your wife and daughters go ahead of you or do you rush in and let the door slam in their face? How do you talk to your wife in front of others? Do you honor her with your words or tear her down? I know with my husband, nothing gets him hotter than when one of our boys talks disrespectfully to me. He comes to my defense like a wild man and makes it perfectly clear that he will not tolerate that sort of behavior. And it melts my heart. Because I know, that by his actions, he is teaching our boys to one day be protective of their spouses and to treat all women with respect.
Now guys, don’t fret. Even if your dad didn’t exactly set a shining example on how to do this kid-raising thing, your Father in heaven is happy to show you the way. It is never too late to get in the Word which is full of advice for all your parenting woes. The very best way that all kids learn is through example, so start living out what it teaches in front of them. Although it may sound good to say, “I’m the adult so do what I say not as I do,” it doesn’t typically fly with the little people. If you want kind, respectful children, then be a kind and respectful adult for them to model their behavior after.
“Direct your children onto the right path
and when they are older,
they will not leave it.”
(Proverbs 22:6 NLT)