Thursday, September 2, 2010

Leading by Example

This past Wednesday night, Kristen and I were at Bible study as we usually are. Ben was sitting in my lap as the service was about to end and doing what he often does, drawing and coloring. Ben is an artist. He's not the best yet, but I'm sure if he continues as he does he'll be great. He and I were looking at his coloring book, and I took the pen he was using and began to color in one of the eyes on the page. In response, Ben grabbed the pen back and held it just like I did and began to color the eye that I had been coloring. I was actually a bit taken aback due to the fact that my 19 month old son was holding a pen the way one is taught to hold a pen and on top of that was trying to carefully color in the same eye the way in which I had just done. The boy learns from examples. It was a pretty small thing, but a bit reminder that there is someone who watches me, and imitates me.

The event reminded me of Deuteronomy 6:5-9. Moses wrote, "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

God commanded the Israelites to be an example unto their children. It wasn't just a matter of taking them to the usual religious service and making sure we pray with them before we eat and all go to bed. They were to be the living example of all that God had given them. They were to do and speak the things of God so that their children would learn and grow in such an environment, imitating the godly life that one should desire. One who continues to study the Old Testament knows that it was not long before the children, not being taught in the way God prescribed, became a nation that strayed from godliness and into paganism and worldliness.

I'm proud of the fact that Ben is able to hold a pen the correct way and give attention to more detailed drawing. What good will that be though if he doesn't have a godly example?

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