They Imitate Their Parents
A Father’s Day Admonition
Christian Action League of North Carolina
The Reverend Bob Stamps, former chaplain of Oral Roberts University, and who is also bald tells a delightful story about a night he and his wife went out to dinner. They had hired a babysitter to watch the children while they were gone, but the babysitter became distracted by a television program and didn’t notice that their little boy, Peter Andrew, got a hold of his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head.
When Stamps got home, he was furious. He said to his son, “Peter Andrew! I have told you never to play with my electric shaver. Now you’re going to get a spanking you’ll never forget.” Just before Stamps was about to give Peter Andrew the spanking, the little boy looked up at him and said, “Wait until you see sister.”
Stamps said he and his wife were mortified. They went into the next room and there was their precious four-year-old daughter with the hair shaved off of her head. Stamps said she looked like a skinned rabbit. Stamps then grabbed up Peter Andrew and said, “Now you’re really going to get it.” Just as he lifted his hand to bring it down on the little boy’s bottom, Peter Andrew looked up at his Daddy and said with tears in his eyes: “But Daddy, we were just trying to look like you.” Stamps was so moved by Peter Andrew’s explanation, he decided not to punish his little boy after all.
Peter Andrew was demonstrating a profound truth about children. They imitate their parents.
Interestingly, Dr. James Merritt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, points out that the wise King Solomon was filled with concern that his children not stray from the path of wisdom. So he specifically admonished them about three things.
First, he warned them to avoid sexual immorality (Prov. 5). Second, he admonished them not to resist godly counsel and discipline (Prov. 13:1; Prov. 19:27). And third, he besought them to beware of the dangers of drinking alcoholic beverages (Prov. 20:1).
Unfortunately, it seems that these are the very areas where young people are suffering the most today. Sexual immorality and its negative consequences are rampant. But in a day when most adults choose cohabitation instead of marriage, when condoms or birth control are advised instead of purity, what more should be expected? There is very little, if no godly counsel, largely being given to children. Its not that the kids aren’t getting good religious training in the schools as much as it is that they aren’t getting it at home either. And when they do get it at home, the schools often undermine the parent’s teaching. Moreover, make no mistake about it; alcohol is the gateway drug for young people. More kids try alcohol than try cigarettes.
Francis Bacon once said: “He that gives good advice builds with one hand; He that gives good counsel and example builds with both: But he that gives good admonition and bad example builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.”
America is losing an entire generation to righteousness because youth refuse to listen to those whose actions belie their words. Parents often worry about their children not getting enough education. They would do just as well to be concerned about the molding of their children’s character. What does it profit if a child achieves every form of success in life but loses his/her own soul?
This is why there is no greater knowledge a parent can pass along to its child than that of knowing Christ.
A father was at the bedside of a son who was near death. The father, who was a faithful Christian, was nevertheless heart-broken at the loss of his son. Seeing his father’s tears, the boy said, “Don’t cry Daddy. When I die, I’m going to heaven. And when I get to heaven, I’ll walk right up to Jesus and tell him that is because of you that I am there.”
Few things influence life more powerfully than the advice and example of parental leadership.
Happy Father’s Day!!!