They are watching you

March 18, 2012

Years ago The Police  had an ominous  hit song called Every Breath You Take.  Here are a few of the foreboding lyrics.

Every breath you take Every move you make Every bond you break Every step you take I’ll be watching you
Every single day Every word you say Every game you play Every night you stay I’ll be watching you.*

Kind of scary if you are the one kicking the relationship to the curb, huh?  But I’ve been watching families, and I see something very similar.  I was in the store today and saw a guy, maybe thirty years old.  He was wearing a camouflage cap, white t-shirt and jeans.  He was standing near the front of the store talking to a friend with his arms crossed.  Next to him was a little guy, no older than six.  He was wearing a camouflage cap, white t-shirt and jeans.  And other than the fact that the child was also holding a stuffed bunny, his arms were crossed in an exact six-year-old replica of his father.  “Every move you make.”  I have a great friend, actually the whole family are good friends, maybe some of the best friends I’ve ever had. And when they eat at our house or we eat at theirs I notice something.  An oportunity for dad.  His son mimics every single move he makes.  He sits the same, he eats the same, he treats the other adults  in the room the same.  He wants to be his father. 

So dad has an opportunity, and so do the rest of the dads reading this.  Would you like your son to grow up to be respectful of their mom. and other women?  Model it!  Do you want your sons and daughter to be honest?  Caring?  Thoughtful?  Hard working and diligent?   Or would you rather watch them grow lazy, take shortcuts, figure out how to just get by?  Do you want them to lie and treat women with disdain and as mere objects?  You know how to do this too.   Model it.

Our sons and daughters will be just like us, The Cat’s In The Cradle.  There is nothing you can do to change it, your kids are going to copy you, even if they go through a few years of hating you.  Give them something good to copy.

LOVE YOUR SPOUSE!  Be the best spouse, the most caring friend, most diligent student, hardest working employee, most honest companion, most faithful Christ follower…be the best you can be at everything you can.  Because you are being not only watched, you are being imitated.

Okay, so if you are like me, that is just too big an order to fill.  I can’t be all those things all the time.  But we can and should talk to our kids when we succeed and when we fail.  When we rise up and when we lie down, when we go out and when we stay at home.  We need to let our kids know that we try, and sometimes succeed, and we try, and sometimes fail, and sometimes we don’t try so hard.  But we should.

But I think, most importantly, from my observations, we need to make the supreme effort to always, always, always treat our spouse with love and respect, especially when our kids are within a million miles of us.   Other than choosing Christ as Savior and Lord, the most important thing we can teach our kids is how to be a good spouse.

And the rewards come from every direction when we do that, and not just for our kids.

*Every Move You Make, Copyright 1978,  Sting and The Police.

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