Most weekends, we have several young people in our home for fellowship...ok, they come for the cool video game system hook-up. The fellowship is probably just a byproduct! This is something we really enjoy doing. A big pot of nacho dip and a ton of tortilla chips are proper sustenance for hard-core gaming. One recent weekend, there were ripe avocados at a great price. As I browned hamburger and added all the "extras" in my special mix to the nacho sauce, Trinity sat at the table and mixed up a huge batch of guacamole. We cooked and talked and laughed and shooed the boys out of the kitchen when they came sniffing around. The picture of Amish kitchens came to mind. This is what I should be doing with my daughter. Teaching by doing, working together for the benefit of the entire family. The thought stuck with me; seeing how the things I cook, the way I handle the kids, my speech patterns, even faces I make get passed on to my children.
It wasn't long after that moment that I was in the kitchen at church while the praise band practiced for Sunday morning worship. I have gotten used to not singing on stage with my husband, but the music is always in my heart. As Brad started a favorite song, I began singing my part along. It comes out quiet, and not always in tune. Then, unexpectedly, I heard my notes from the stage, but strong and sure instead of wispy and wobbly. I almost began to cry as Mary Grace sang the harmony that she had learned by listening to me. I was so amazed, so blessed by the impact of her perfect imitation of the music I used to be able to make. The lesson was so clear to me. I had a little church service right there in the kitchen, just me thanking God for teaching me once again.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. - 1 Cor. 11:1
Paul urged the church at Corinth to look to his example to know how to live a Godly life. As he followed Christ, so they could follow him. Laying down footprints, leaving a path, marking a trail. As parents, we are to do the same for our children. They WILL imitate us, whether we imitate God or not. Just as Trinity will tend to cook the same dishes she grows up cooking with me, so she will tend to follow in my spiritual footsteps. This goes beyond attending church and reading the Bible daily devotional. I teach her how to season foods, I teach her how to handle stressful situations. And it's not just my household that I'm leading. Mary Grace memorizes the notes I used to sing, but she also listens to my testimony of finding joy through my trials.
People are watching. Am I living so that I am reflecting Christ? Not just in word, but in how I actually respond to people and situations. Do I allow the world to pollute my mind? Do I get upset at insignificant events or hold grudges? Do I love in a sacrificial way? Christ did. I am called to be a reflection of Him. And even though in my head I have known this my entire life, it took these few events to point it out to me again. To refocus me, to remind me how important it is to not just skate by in my life.
It is so easy to get into the habit of going through the same motions. Go to church, sing the songs, smile, go home, read a little Bible every day, spout off a verse now and then. But there is so much more to reflecting Christ. I am so thankful that my savior reminds me to be passionate about Him!