A couple days ago I decided to take Hailey, my daughter, to Chick Fil A for lunch. I decided to take her to the one by the mall instead of the one in our city. Hailey says to me, "Mom, I don't want to go to that Chick Fil A because it is offensive to me." Um, what? I asked her if she knew what the word offensive meant and she said, "it means bad, like something you don't like." Wow. I couldn't believe that she actually knew what the word meant! But it really struck me how much she has been imitating me lately in the things I say and do. When I am frustrated my first instinct is to audibly grown. Guess what Hailey's first instinct is when she is frustrated? You got it. A phrase I started saying lately is "Say whaaaat?" (you know, in the high pitched silly way?). Well, Hailey is saying that now too. She eats what I eat, she watches to see how I react in situations and she follows suit. It is an enormous responsibility to be a mom. I am literally shaping her with every single thing I do and say. Wow.
This morning I was reading in Ephesians and a verse stuck out to me that really hits this subject on the head. Ephesians 5:1a says, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children...." God recognized that our dearly loved children are imitators of US and He used that as an example of how we should be imitators of HIM. He wants to shape us to be more like him, and like children, the way to do that it to imitate Him in action, in word, in faith. The Bible lays out his life for us so that we can imitate Him to become more like Him! He is our perfect example!!
We are all imitating someone. Who are you imitating? Are you imitating the characters you see on TV, are you imitating your best friend with the potty mouth, are you imitating the neighborhood gossip, are you imitating your abusive family member, are you imitating the joneses of the world that only value possessions? Or are you imitating God? I want to imitate God. I want His peace, His compassion, His heart for the unsaved, His patience, His love, His hope, and His unending never wavering forgiveness.
Just a thought...if you are imitating God, and your children are imitating you...aren't they inadvertently imitating God as well...