Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Be an example…in speech, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” Children are taught more by your example than your words. You can speak to them about the Word consistently but if you are not practicing what you teach, it won’t have an impact. You will have a greater influence upon your children’s lives than anyone or anything else. Take this seriously. You are molding eternal beings and your conduct will affect them until they die.
What is your speech like in front of your children? I hear mothers that call themselves “Christians” swear at their children and have no problem with using foul language. Their speech is not seasoned with salt but with rottenness. This should never be mothers! Your words should always be filled with kindness, encouragement, and never critical or demeaning others. Life and death are in the power of the tongue; to lift up or to tear down. Use your tongue to lift up the name of Jesus and build your children up.
What about the way you live? Are you careful to use your time wisely or do you spend it in frivolous pursuits? We should be known for good works; helping those around us in need and especially our families. Our times are short on this earth, therefore, we must use our time wisely and not fritter it away on the non-essentials.
Do you love others deeply? If you struggle with this, memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for this is the definition of love. If you aren’t being patient and kind towards your children, you are not truly loving them as the Lord has told you to love others. Yes, there will be difficult and hard times, but remember you are to believe the best, even of your children. Smother them with affection and kindness. It is the best gift you can give them.
What about faith? Do your children know you love the Lord deeply? If you asked them this question, how would they answer? Without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord or to raise godly children. Let your faith in the Risen Lord affect everything you do. Make sure church is a priority, regular times of prayer, and reading the Bible with them.
How about your purity? Are you careful what you read, watch, and listen to? If you tell your children they can only watch “proper” shows but you watch impure shows after they are you in bed, your hypocrisy will find you out. We must practice what we preach or it will all fall on deaf ears. Clean out your homes of any impurity. Teach your children about purity early and often. Pray they will yearn to be modest in the way they dress and pure with those of the opposite sex. Do everything in your power to keep them from impurity: Internet, TV shows, movies, and iPhones.
Finally, model integrity, honesty, kindness, and goodness to your children at all times, especially in the way you treat their father. Your respect and love towards him will have a greater influence on them than anything else you will do. Yes, all this may see overwhelming to you but remember, with God all things are possible.