I remember the phrase, “Like Father Like Son.” If that is a true statement, then perhaps it is also true for, “Like Mother Like Daughter.” This was so evident as I sat comfortably in my seat aboard the jet plane. I was flying to spend time with my children and grandchildren in Arizona. I could see a mother and daughter picking at the same Popeye’s chicken breast. Literally, they were taking turns picking or pulling off small chunks of meat and eating what they held in their hands. Something happened. The mother picked off a piece and placed it on the side of the napkin for her daughter. The daughter consumed the piece and picked off a chunk and placed it on the side of the napkin for her mother. The daughter kept motioning to the piece for her mother to take notice and to consume it. I was a witness to a powerful mother-daughter bonding moment. You might say, “That’s discussing!” You might wonder whether they could afford two pieces of chicken, one for each? Please don’t get stuck in the weeds. This was an impressionable moment that forms lifetime patterns and influences. It was a vivid reminder that the role of parent is so very precious in forming well-balanced children.
Now at my destination accompanied by my son and grandchildren. I witnessed another impressionable moment. As we were walking in the parking lot, my son asked my grandchildren if they remembered where they parked. He invited each to state their opinion. Then he went in the direction they suggested. And lo, they were right. In this simple moment, he was teaching them awareness and proximity. How many of us have gone to the mall or supermarket and forgotten where we parked our car? I’m guilty. My granddaughter and two grandsons were receiving a life-lessons, invaluable to navigating one’s surroundings.
While bowling with a 14-year-old boy, another man approached and offer free advice to improve the boy’s accuracy. What was the impact? Upon leaving the bowling alley, the boy offered this totally unsolicited remark. “That man was very nice,” was the response.
NOW here’s one thing you may not know or appreciate. PARENTS and PREACHERS are always on call, always being observed, always in a position to provide positive or negative influences. Here’s something else Parents and Preachers have in common. Both are called to be children of The Most High and to fulfill the “Like Father Like Child” imperative. Honestly, the best chance our children have in the world that dims more and more each day, is our ability to mirror God the Father. It’s our way of training up a child the way he should go that when he becomes old, he will not depart from it.
It stands to reason that the fragile, impressionable minds of children are given into the hands of adults and especially parents. If you feel the weight of such a heavy responsibility, then good. It should seem heavy. Too heavy to carry alone. Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” God offers to aid in carrying the heavy weight of rearing children. He is more than the spotter at the gym as you lift your maximum weight. He is more than the trainer that instructs on technique and pushes you to excel. He is more than the admirers in the gym that witness the transformation that comes from discipline and consistency. He is more than the owner of the gym who ensures the equipment is plentiful and safe. God is the center of excellence. We would do well to involve Him in every aspect of childrearing.
So how are you fairing these days? Grade yourself on how well you are mirroring God and nurturing children to revere God? Are you sharing pieces of God like the single-breasted chicken scenario? O taste and see He is good! Are you teaching your children to have a sense of proximity and direction so that they make the right choices? Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Are you providing instruction that they may gain more strikes or spares in life and less 7 10 pin splits? Let us be Like Father Like Child in connection with God so that the children may be likewise also.