Children are great character readers, so parents cannot be hypocrites. You cannot tell your child to do something, while you do something else. You can’t teach your children anything you are not willing to live. So if you want your children to grow up loving and honoring the Lord, you must make sure that you are doing it yourself. To train your children well, you must examine your own devotion to God. You need to be honest with yourself and examine yourself daily.
For example, you want your children to study the Bible, ask yourself, “Do I study the Bible consistently?” You want your children to pray. Ask yourself, “Do I pray daily?” You should be teaching your children to love the church. Do you model what that means? If you want to teach your children to honor God with their money, you need to give faithfully to God’s Kingdom. Ask yourself, “Am I generous? Do I honor God with my resources?”If you want to teach your children about sexual purity, examine your life. Are you watching your heart and your mind? Are you being a good example of everything you teach?
The Bible warns us that this world is full of evil. There is the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life that operates here. Before you can teach your children to keep themselves pure and serve the Lord, you need to do the same. Be aware of temptations in your own life because you are your children’s primary teacher. The first spiritual teacher of our children is not the church. A local church equips parents who then are primary teachers to their children. You teach by what you say, but also by how you live. In fact, your life, your actions, speak louder than your words. For you to be a good teacher to your children, you need to be a godly role model to them.
When you are consistent in what you do, what you say will matter to your children. They will treasure your words through the years. If you are inconsistent and are a hypocrite, you will eventually frustrate your children and they will become bitter. You must live out the godliness you want to model.