We all grew up hearing this saying, “Do what I say, not what I do!” Who knows, I may have even used it in my early years of parenting. Some verses found in James 1:22-25 state, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (NIV)
Do we demonstrate that we are hearers only?
This popular saying “Do what I say, not what I do!” is a perfect illustration of how important it is to be more than hearers. How can a godly parent expect to demonstrate that they are exempt from doing what they know is right (by hearing), but expect their children to obey them? They can’t, according to this scripture. It actually says that when we are hearers only, and not doers as well, he will forget what his own image looks like after just seeing himself in the mirror. We know from these scriptures that a person who hears and does what is said, will be blessed in it. So why would we want to demonstrate a hearer only mentality to our children, causing confusion and possible rebellion from a double standard.
How can you demonstrate a doer to your family?
Over the years, I have found how to begin to take progressive steps toward making these changes in my life, in the hopes to not only be blessed in doing them, but to also demonstrate the importance of being both a hearer and a doer.
- Expect only that which I am doing well – If I’m able to walk faithfully in an area and have been able to demonstrate to my children often, I want to let them know this is the standard that is expected of them, with scriptures to back it up.
- Apologize when I’m failing in an area that I still desire my children to walk differently – Just because I have an issue or fall short in an area, doesn’t mean that I desire my children to walk in my footsteps when I know the pain and hardships of my sinful nature. Apologizing for my example, while expecting them to choose right because of their faith, allows me to help them understand that I desire to change this area and aware it exist.
- Praise my family when I see fruit from the living word being made manifested in their life – We all need encouragement and what better way to praise those around you when you see the blessings of doing right in their life. This will bring a form of communication within the relationship, as the one you are praising realizes that you love them and see more than their sinful natures coming out.
What ways do you work to be demonstrate to your family that you are more then a hearer, but a doer as well?