I want to be just like dad

July 19, 2010

When I was young there was a man at my church who suffered from some terrible affliction that had rendered him a modern day hunchback.   He didn’t ring bells or kidnap young maidens, but he didn’t have to move a muscle to see if his shoes were tied.  I don’t know too much more about him.  I usually only saw him in line for communion.  I do know that he had a son.  And as the son grew he started walking just like his dad, even though the son had not suffered the affliction that bent his father.  The child was simply, subconsciously imitating the man he admired and loved the most.

I know several boys and young men who imitate their fathers in a similar manner.  When dad hurts himself at work and picks up a limp, the son suddenly develops a limp.  When the dad is overworked, overstressed and exhausted, the son wants nothing more than an early bedtime or a quiet evening in front of the television.  Dads who play baseball raise sons who want to play baseball.  I see this in most boys, but in some it is more pronounced than in others.  Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes endearing.  Sometimes it is scary.

But the fact remains that if we as parents care at all about our kids we want them to pick up our good habits;  but we don’t want them to imitate our immaturities.

Osmosis if a funny thing.   It works whether we want it to or not, it is impartial.  So as a dad we need to think.  Are there any habits I must break, or see them repeated in my child?  Are there any habits I must form so they take root in my son when he is young?

We all know that parenting is about loving and teaching, but I think Sting got it right:

Every breath you take and every move you make Every bond you break Every step you take, I’ll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say Every game you play Every night you stay, I’ll be watching you …
Every move you make and every vow you break  Every smile you fake Every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you …

1983 Sting, From the album, Every Breath You Take- The Police

I am not trying to pile on guilt, rather I am hoping to pile on hope.  You can shape your child into the man you want him to be, by becoming the man you want to be!  Whoa Nelly! Love your wife in front of your son.  Read your Bible when you know you are being watched.  Be a good steward, a good friend, a good neighbor.

Can’t do it for yourself?  (Me neither.)  But I’ll bet you would do anything for your son, wouldn’t you?  Ask God for the strength and wisdom, he would love to help you with this project.  In fact he is trying to do the same thing for you.  Follow HIM.

Imitate Christ, (the one you admire and love the most) and watch what happens to your kids!!


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