One of the biggest surprises since we began homeschooling has been how much I have learned! I love reading history lessons now that I am older and want to understand the 'whys' and 'how's' instead of a bunch of facts, dates and names! Another important lesson is that I can't effectively teach if I don't have good understanding myself. Often I must review the lesson to refresh myself before I teach it to my son.
While raising our children, sometimes the day to day duties and needs to be met would be about all that I could handle. As our two older boys have grown and are now on the threshold of being on their own, I find myself wishing I had done a few things differently. Maybe some more time training them, being deliberate in teaching and preparing them, things I should have said, or have not said, it could go on and on!!
A recent article I read shared some descriptions about children.
1 You have a child who plops down on the couch waiting for the world to serve his every need.
2. A child who will get up and help you or help themselves when they are instructed to do so.
3. A child who will take the initiative to live beyond themselves by helping others before they are asked.
We all dream of choice number 3 to be what our children are made of. That is an excellent spirit - one that goes beyond good, or average. But how? What brings out this excellent spirit?
An exemplified life.
If you want a child to grow up with the attitude of going the extra mile for others you must be willing to model that behavior while they are growing under your care. In fact people are more likely to mirror your behavior than they are to swing the opposite way. That can be a bit scary!!
It's the life at home where families learn. They learn how we react to situations, stresses, joys, sorrow. They learn how we do our work - just enough or a thorough job, how we treat others when we're tired, how we speak or respond. They learn where our faith lies, where we go to in times of trouble and they see firsthand if our faith is real or fake.
An exemplified life comes only by following the example of Jesus. He came - not to be served - but to serve. He loves like none other. He gives great grace to us that we can in turn give to others. I quickly admit, I don't have anything in me worthy for my children to follow, but when His grace and love is in my heart, they can see and hopefully follow me as I follow Him.
"You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are."