Watch Me

having life long conversations with your kids about the big issues // ohAmanda.com

source: 0Four

OK. Confession: I don’t drink alcohol. My husband doesn’t drink. Our parents don’t drink. It’s just never been part of our family culture. When I was growing up, the only people in my family who drank were either dead or in jail. (No joke.)

As an adult, I’m still not interested in drinking but I do recognize not everyone ends up a whino who picks up a glass of wine! However, I’ve wondered how people who do drink expect to keep their teenaged underaged kids from not drinking. It seems easier to just abstain than have to say, “Well, it’s OK for me! But not you!”

Then, the other day I had a conversation with a guy at church. He told me how he spoke to  his 15 year old son about alcohol. He simply said, “Watch how I drink.”

Wow. How bold is that?

He told the boy to notice that he only ordered bottled drinks at a restaurant so he could clearly gauge and keep track of how much alcohol he had consumed. He gave him other personal examples–including examples of when he had too much to drink and what to do then.

I was so impressed by this dad to bring the conversation to his son before his son had a chance to wonder or to experiment on his own. Here’s the thing–your kids are going to watch how you drink whether you tell them to or not. Are you willing to recognize those little eyes and be the example? the role model? the plumb line for how to interact with alcohol? Are you willing to apologize and course-correct when you mess up?

This isn’t only about alcohol. How about “the talk”? Our campus pastor told us he sat his tween son down to explain the birds and the bees but prefaced it with this, “We are going to begin a conversation that we will be having the rest of your life. This is not a one time conversation. This is the start of many conversations.” Whew!

Are you able to say, “Watch how I have a healthy marriage. Watch how I keep my eyes from lust. Watch how I honor my spouse. Watch how I protect my marriage.”?

What about technology? Can you say, “Watch how I unplug regularly. Watch how I rule technology and don’t let it rule me. Watch how small it is in my life.”

What areas of your life can you say “Watch how I do this”? Which ones do you not want your kids to see? Gossip? Fear? Focus on outward appearance? Work ethic?

It reminds me of what the apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) It’s not about being fake perfect or play-acting what should be done. It’s not about being a Pharisee and making up your own standards and rules.

Can I really make Paul’s same statement? I have to follow Christ. Not put on a show for my kids. Follow Christ. Then, I can glance back and say, “Come on! Jump in! I’m a few steps, a few years ahead in my walk with Jesus. Follow me as I keep my eyes on Him! Watch me!

Are you willing to have life-long conversations with your kids? Are you willing to follow Jesus with such intensity that your children can’t keep their eyes off of you?
ohamanda.com

 

Comments

  1. I’m brand new visitor to Oh Amanda and I’m in love!! Thank you Lord for helping me stumble across a blog that’s dedicated to making us better Chrisitains! I adore today’s post, tugged at my heart and I will be pondering on it today!
    Thank you for all you post!!

  2. This is an awesome and heart searching post! I blogged a few weeks back about how “you kids see everything you do”. Love the idea of being proactive on the tough stuff, tackling it together with God’s truth. Great post!

    • Exactly, Christie! We know our kids see everything we do—even the things we think we hide well OR that we don’t even know we do ourselves. It’s hard to be proactive, but I want to!

      a

  3. Wow!!! This was very much needed! Thank you for addressing this and for also understanding that some real good Christians can on occasion have a glass of wine preferably in private but none the less it happends. I do not drink but my mother who raised me up a good wife and mother always had her glass of red wine (one) with dinner. I understood self control at a young age because of her. This goes for all areas including Internet or tv, too much shopping, fitness ect ect…. Watch me, follow me… i once heard that there will come a time when your kids will not Liten to your advise but rather Follow your exsamlpe. Loved this post!!! Lord make us teachable always correcting our selves to be more like Jesus!!

  4. Oh Amanda, I loved this!! May I live in a way where I can say, “Watch Me!” This is my prayer. Thank you for this inspiring post!

  5. What a GREAT way to put this! LOVE it and I will totally be stealing it!

  6. Wow this is really good stuff, Amanda! Thought-provoking too…I think of several areas right off that I definitely want my kids to “watch me” and others that I hope they don’t watch so closely!

  7. Like you, I just didn’t grow up in a culture of drinking, and most of my friends and family now don’t do a lot of drinking, so that hasn’t really been an issue. My issue is time. I was challenged recently by another mom who said, “How can you expect your kids to be generous and share their toys if you’re stingy with your time?” There are so many tasks I want to do, but sometimes I need to put those aside and read picture books or do puzzles or play outside.

  8. You are so right, Amanda! I think about this all the time. Over the years, as my girls have gotten older, I have changed my TV habits, my computer habits and now, as a single Mom, my dating habits. I want to lead by example. I don’t want them to think it’s OK to watch whatever, do whatever. When I mess up, I apologize. When my kids say, “it’s OK Mom.” I’m quick to say it’s not OK, I made a mistake, but I’m going to learn from it. Thank you for putting this out there. We always need reminders that little ones are watching our every move.

    • Amy! (I miss you!!)

      Yes, we’ve changed our TV habits, too. And don’t you think it gets more obvious or important as they are older? When they were tiny it didn’t matter what we watched on TV b/c they weren’t even awake! But now it’s different. Even Lydia reading over my shoulder on the computer has me on alert for what I’m reading and looking at!

      a

      • Exactly! Now that Olivia is reading, I have to be very careful of what I have on the computer or even who/what I text, because sometimes she even watches me send those. It just makes sense. I’ve changed so much over the last year, I’m so thankful for the changes God has brought in our lives.

  9. I think it’s also good to let your kids see where you struggle. Help them understand that, even as adults, we aren’t going to get it right every time. As its age-appropriate, let them see the journey we are on and the grace and forgiveness we need from God and others. I don’t want to set myself up as the perfect example of a Godly woman. At some point, no matter how hard I try, I’m going to fail my kids. I hope a characteristic of my family will always be a culture of grace.

    • Agreed, Jessica! It’s another perfect time to say “watch me take responsibility for my failures!” Learning to say I’m sorry and I failed is a good (and hard) lesson. Thanks for the reminder. :)

      a

  10. You’re just amazing! So glad I got to know you in person at NP in WL before your journey took you to Watermarke.

  11. Dorothy Tanner says:

    This is a good read. I pray I am a good example to everyone.

  12. Love this post! Our church does a Daniel Fast for 21 days every January. Instead of giving up food, I gave up Facebook. Hopefully my daughter is watching me. “Watch how I rule technology and don’t let it rule me. Watch how small it is in my life.” Those words are getting posted on my iPad. :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Amanda challenged me this week as to whether I am ready to to tell me kids to “watch me” as I walk through important things in [...]

Leave a Comment

*