This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!
This weekend, Hubby and I went to a family reunion of sorts. Many of his extended family members came in from all over to get together for the first time in several years, to catch up, meet new additions, and talk about family history. Hubby’s great-grandparents were the first generation, and the subsequent four generations were the ones together this weekend.
There were four generations of people talking (or learning) about Hubby’s great-grandparents, Nanny and Bump Bump. Their children (our grandparents generation) told stories from their childhood about growing up in small town, North Carolina, saying things like “We still had horses and buggies.” and “Our phone number was only two digits.” When asked how they were taught as children about morals, ethics and faith, they all responded with the most amazing answer I could’ve imagined.
They said they didn’t always have meaningful dinner conversations about such things, or learn lessons from being told what to do. They learned by watching their parents live with honesty, hard work, and kindness every single day. They watched their parents visit the bereaved, bring soup to the sick, and feed and clothe the poor. They saw coworkers and employees treated with respect, and strangers and friends alike welcomed into their home.
What better way to truly see how Jesus lived than to personally know someone who subscribes to His lifestyle? To be parents who truly embody love, kindness, hard work, and respect is the best way for our children to grow up appreciating and living out those very qualities. The idea that children learn more by watching than listening has been proven again and again, and especially to me now that I’m a parent.
I can tell that my children watch me closely every time I hear them grunt as they stoop to pick something up, or use my tone of voice when they tell each other what to do. It’s humbling to hear my “mom voice” come out of my daughter’s mouth with a little more force than I would’ve thought I used. I was convicted as I listened to Hubby’s grandmother lovingly talk about how amazing her parents were and how she remembered their good deeds and kind words.
I can do that. One step at a time, one prayer at a time, I can do good deeds, speak kind words, and be an example for my children, and their children, and their children…