“Do as I Say, Not as I Do”

by Lee Buford on January 4, 2012

Most of you would likely agree that we live in a “do as I say, not as I do” culture and, unfortunately, that’s okay with most.

Few doubt the importance of teaching our children right from wrong or how they ought to behave in a given situation. We want our children to “be good” and to love the Lord, yet we often fail miserably in modeling the concept. We critique behavior, address patterns of disobedience, and chastise insubordination. But our own actions often contradict the very advice we’re giving.

The Bible certainly commands that we ought to “Train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6). But how can you do that if you’re not willing to follow your own advice? Charles Spurgeon makes this point very well, saying “Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself.”

Being the Christian role model God calls us to be to our children (and others) is not easy. We all fail at times…probably more often than not. But our own sinful nature is not an excuse for a lack of obedience in this area.

Paul boldly urges others to follow his lead in this manner: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). We should all have the same desire, that our lives and witnesses would be such that we’d boldly encourage others to follow as we follow Christ…especially our own children.

Again, know in advance that it won’t be easy. Know that you will fail at times. But, by God’s grace, we CAN train up our children in the way they should go, and we can encourage others to do the same. We can model worship, repentance, forgiveness, and biblical obedience. We can teach, encourage, and admonish when necessary. Indeed, we CAN train up our children in the way they should go. But as Spurgeon said, we must be sure to go that way ourselves.

 “Do as I say, not as I do” just won’t cut it here.



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