After having two kids, many things have changed but one thing stands out: I’m more aware of how I behave at home more than ever. I don’t do the right things all the time – but at least I’m more “aware” of what I actually do. It is because I get to see so vividly how my action affects my children’s behavior, in front of my eyes.
When my youngest daughter Senna who is turning 3 soon mimicks my actions, it is very cute. But when my oldest daughter Luyah who is turning 6 soon mimicks some of the things I do, sometimes I get a little uncomfortable because I get to see some of my bad habits played out through her actions. Some I’m proud of but some I’m not. As a result, I become more aware of the influence I have on her.
Marriage also helps you to see who you are but it is limited because spouses don’t necessarily mimic each other. But kids are different – they follow your every single behavior in detail and the best part is they look like you! Good intentions don’t cut it when it comes to modeling – it has to be presented right because they will do what you “actually” did.
You would be surprised to know that there are many who see you as their role model simply because you are “visible” in their lives through proximity. (For example, same church) If you are a college student, high school students are watching you how authentic your faith is. If you are a working adult, college students look up to you and learn how you live out your Christian faith at the market place. If you are a married couple, singles watch how you treat one another and see how the love of Christ is played out in marriage. If you are a shepherd or youth shepherd, your members are watching closely how you carry yourself as their spiritual guide. If you are a Christian, regardless of how long you’ve been one, there are non-Christians who watch you closely, looking for virtues they don’t find in their secular groups.
Living our lives in a way that impacts others the right way all begins from this one action: “awareness”. If we can just be more aware of the power of our behaviors, it will help us to be intentional about how we live out our faith and positively impact those who are closely watching us.