One of the things I’ve been working on since the pandemic hit is reading any parenting books we have on hand. My husband loves books, so we have a fair share of books I’ve never read before. While reading one of them, I was struck in a new way with the gravity of this verse from Proverbs: “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eye observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26).
I thought about how I may or may not be living this out in my own life as a mother. Do I want my children’s eyes to observe my ways? Am I subconsciously putting everything BUT myself in front of my children’s eyes? “Observe my ways…” – can I say that with confidence to my children, confidence that they will see a good example in me?
God isn’t just talking about TV, though that is an easy thing to relate to in our world. This verse is communicating a way of life for all Christian parents. Are we so busy entertaining our children “so I can just have some time” that we aren’t actively training our children? What do my children see me doing? Do they see me growing, ministering, helping, working, and learning? Or do they see me lazy, defeated, busy, distracted, and worldly?
Josh and I are in a busy season of life, and it’s not just because we have kids. It is really easy for us to get to the end of the day and just watch the boys play instead of actually doing something with them. However, we try to do things with them because we know we are training them for the rest of their lives. We don’t do it right every day, let me tell you – we make a painfully large amount of mistakes. I pray that we will do better every day with our boys.
We don’t do anything fancy. Our “something with them” is often a walk to see the train go by; running around in a field with a ball; soaking up sunshine with some bubbles outside; letting Malachi help make supper (Joash hasn’t been allowed to do that much yet, and if you know him, you know why, haha); reading books; doing the laundry; cleaning at church.
What worked in the days of Solomon still works in 2020. Good or bad, our children are watching what we do, how we live, what we say, who we hang out with, where we spend our time – they see it all. We won’t want to say “observe my ways” if we aren’t living the way God intends. Let us choose God’s way of life, and let us remember the great responsibility and privilege that comes with it!