Little Eyes Are Watching
Not too long ago I was gently reminded how much influence I truly have in the lives of my girls and that they really watch and soak up my every move. I had unloaded a load of laundry out of the dryer and placed it in the living room floor. I was in the middle of cooking dinner so my 5 year old asked me if she could fold the laundry for me. I said “sure” even though I knew that I would have to refold it later. After a few minutes, I finished up what I was cooking and came to see her progress. She had folded a few t-shirts and had decided she had done her duty, so I sat down to finish the rest.
Well, I love the smell of fresh laundry and I have this habit (some may call it OCD) when I’m folding t-shirts to smell each one before folding it. I do it without even thinking about it…it’s second nature. Not realizing that Emma was intently watching me…she said “oh, mommy, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to smell it before I folded it”.
I looked at her with this perplexed look because I wasn’t consciously aware of this habit of mine. Then I watched her unfold the t-shirts she had folded and she picked each one up, smelled it and then folded it again. I laughed hysterically. It’s a silly example I know, but, it was in that moment that the Holy Spirit gently whispered “Kim, she’s watching you”.
I think sometimes we forget the tremendous influence we have on our children…especially while they are young. Well, at least I do. I get busy with life and I forget. We have tremendous power in our children’s lives! In a world where so many things are vying for their attention and trying to influence them…we should realize that we are the biggest influence in their lives…good & bad.
I don’t know about you, but it is my heart’s desire that I be the biggest influence in their life for the GOOD! Most of the time without even realizing it we model to them values, priorities, how to treat others, how to treat their future spouse, how to raise their future children, how to manage money, what a healthy friendship looks like, how to view their bodies in a healthy way, what a relationship with Christ (or lack thereof) means & looks like…and the list goes on. Most of those things aren’t learned by us having teaching sessions with them (while teaching is important), but instead so much of it is learned by them just observing us do life…by modeling it for them.
It personally challenges me to live my life on purpose and to parent on purpose because little eyes are always watching me. So, I often ask myself “what am I modeling to my girls?” When they are older and someone asks them who the biggest influence in their life was, I don’t want them to say “Lady Gaga”, “Oprah” or “Miley Cyrus”… I want them to say “Mom & Dad”.
So, how do we accomplish this? It really comes down to one thing…the main thing…we must passionately pursue a personal, authentic relationship with Christ. I believe if we will do that the other things will fall into place. Will we mess up? Absolutely! But, it is in those moments that we can model repentance to our children and show them how even when we mess up we can always turn around and get back on the right track.
Maybe you feel like you’ve already messed up too much…sister, we all have. It’s never too late! Just don’t give up. See, Christ knew when He called us to be parents that it was impossible to do it in our own strength and all too often we try to do it on our own. He is ready and willing to guide and direct us. He desires to lend us His strength. So, press in, take hold & let Him be your guide!