Don’t Do As I Do, Do As I Say To Do…

Ever heard of the quote that I’ve used for this post? My parents never used it, but I’ve heard it referred to in a parenting sense. We want our kids to not model what they see us do, but rather choose to do the right thing that we tell them to do.

Well, I’m reading through the book of Lamentations currently. You probably know that this short book in the Old Testament is the sad story of someone crying and grieving, but maybe you’ve never read it. I haven’t read it before completely. I guess it’s like avoiding a movie you know will make you cry (Like, Underdog, for example). Guys especially don’t want to subject themselves to something they know beforehand will tug at their emotions and bring a tear to the corner of their eye.
Let’s face it: weeping and grieving doesn’t sound very inspirational for my daily time with the Lord. We usually like to focus on His promises to be there for us, His grace and love, or passages related to our reward in Heaven. We want to be lifted up, right?

Well, sometimes we need to smacked in the face, in order to see things more clearly. So, as I’m reading in Lamentations 2:11-12 I read these words,
“because infants and babies faint (die) in the streets of the city. They cry to their mothers, ‘ where is the bread and wine?’ as they faint (die) like a wounded man in the streets of the city, as their lives are poured out on their mother’s bosom.”
The context of this terrible reality that is taking place takes us to Jerusalem when the city was destroyed and many of it’s inhabitants were taken captive by the Babylonians. The Bible teaches us that God allowed this destruction and captivity to take place because of the sins of the people of Israel. The consequences of their sins were a high price to pay. During this destruction of the city, the gates were torn down, the temple was ransacked, and the people were wounded, killed or just left to die in the wake of all this. Even the smallest and most vulnerable citizens of Jerusalem had to suffer.

But they hadn’t done anything wrong! Why should they suffer? They were innocent bystanders in the truest sense of the word. This is certainly true, but unfortunately, children suffer the consequences of the sins of their parents.

When I read this this morning, I knew I needed to start writing this down.

OUCH! My kids will suffer because of the sins I commit. Dad, when you spend time allowing your eyes to fall on a woman other than your wife, there are consequences. Mom, when you give in to your kids when they don’t like something they’ve been told to do, there will be consequences. Parents, when we aren’t serious about teaching and training our kids to love the Lord and to serve other people in love, there will be consequences.

The job of parenting is so tough. I’m there with you with three daughters in my house. There are definitely days when you wonder how you’re going to find the energy to make it through the day, much less train your children in spiritual things. Just remember to take it one day at a time, capitalizing on the everyday teachable moments.