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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Role Models

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.  For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:17-19

When we think of role models, we think of those people who we look up to.  We think of people we admire and respect.  We think of those that set an example for us to follow and who portray values and virtues that should be imitated. Unfortunately, though, we live in a culture and society where there is a desperate need for good role models. 

The world gives us role models in the form of entertainers, musicians, sports stars, and movie/tv stars.  These individuals are held up on a pedestal for all to see.  It is great if these people set a good, positive example with their lives.  It is great to see someone with worldly success also be successful in living a good life, but is that the kind of role model we should want for our children?  I don't think so.

So, who should be our children's role models?

First of all, WE must be positive role models for our children.  A role model is someone who has a big influence in the lives of someone else.  As a parent, we certainly should have the biggest influence in the lives of our children, but that influence must be a positive one and one that glorifies God. 

God has given us children for a reason.  Children are a gift from God and, as parents, it is our God-given responsibility to teach them about Christ.  How they see God and how they see Jesus and His church is often a direct reflection of how we see these things. How they serve others, how they help the needy, how they worship - all of these things are modeled for them as they grow up in the home - and will be learned by example from you and from me.  If they are to be learned, it is up to me.  It is up to you.

Who else can be positive role models for our children?  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, all of these can be good, positive, Christian examples for our children.  The important thing is to never hold any person up to a standard and belief that they can never do anything wrong.  It's important to have those good role models, but if we lead our children to believe that any human is perfect, we are setting them and ourselves up for disappointment.

What we can teach them, though, is that Christ was perfect.  That only He lead a life that was totally sinless.  That only He can be held up on that highest pedestal for a role model.  But, we can also teach them that through His blood, and through our faith and trust in Him and what He can do, that we to can become a positive, Christian role model in the lives of others.  He is the author and perfecter of our faith.  What an important lesson to model to our children!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

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