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The Message Parents Send

Description

The way grownups prioritize God is communicated to children through words and actions.

1 Samuel 20:30-34 

When someone asks, “What do you do?” the reply usually includes a job title. But anyone who is raising or interacting with children has a role far more important than career duties. 

Parents are communicators. Yet unlike conference speakers, moms and dads don’t get to pre-plan their entire message. Everything we do and say—especially that which happens “off the cuff”—molds our kids. Think about your childhood days. What did your parents do that illustrated their priorities, beliefs, and passions? 

Even without speaking, we send messages by our body language, interests, kindnesses, absence or presence, and silence. Add words to the mix, and we have a recipe for remarkable impact, either positive or negative. 

Inevitably, our children will be greatly affected by what we communicate and how they interpret it. Be conscious of the way each young one processes information—sometimes our intended message becomes skewed by their limited understanding. What an incredible responsibility we’ve been given. No wonder parents depend on God’s help. 

Only troubled parents—like the angry, jealous King Saul in today’s passage—would ever set out to hurt their children. But in our busyness, or because of past wounds, the messages we send might inadvertently be damaging. 

What are you communicating to your kids? Ask yourself: What do my actions point to as priorities in my life? Do my children sense a hunger in my heart for God’s direction, counsel, and sustenance? Above all, would they know how to have a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ by watching my life?

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