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I have jumped back from my bed with a gasp three times now. My boys think it is hysterical to put a fake snake into my bed so that when I pull back the covers, I am terrified. Although I hate snakes, and don’t like that they have gotten me three times, I can’t help but laugh because

I did the same thing to my mom.

My daughter thrives off of social time. If she is going to have one friend over, why not make it a party and invite 6? I quickly can get wrapped up in her plans because

I thrive in the same way.

Our daughter is organized and likes to complete the task as soon as it is given to her. Phillip can’t help but smile because

He was and still is the same way.

My sons want to wrestle every chance they get and often ask Phillip for wrestling time before bed instead of book time. Phillip loves to join in because

He did the same thing with his dad.

From the time parents see the first ultrasound of their baby, they can’t help but look for similarities to themselves. When the baby is born, we immediately start looking for traits of ourselves or our spouses in their tiny body. I remember trying to convince myself that our oldest looked like me. She didn’t! She looked like Phillip. 

As they grow, we begin to see qualities in them or interests that they have that are similar to ours. We like to see the good stuff about ourselves being passed down to our children.

When it comes to the bad stuff though, the traits that we don’t like about ourselves, and we see it come out in our kids, we aren’t as thrilled.

It actually hurts a bit.

We wish they had gotten another good trait instead of that bad one. 

Good or bad, whether we like it or not, parents pass down traits to their children. 

My question for us this week is, what kind of spiritual traits are you passing down to your children? 

Are you showing them that your relationship with Jesus has the highest priority in your life? Are you showing them that time spent reading God’s Word is of utmost importance? Are you showing them that being a part of a community of faith will give you a unique and priceless family? Are you modeling Christ’s love, grace, compassion and forgiveness in all of your interactions? Are you including them in serving others with you? Are you sharing with them how God is refining and growing you to become more like him? 

Or are you showing them that a relationship with Jesus is just for Sunday mornings, if at all? Maybe you are showing them involvement in sports is more important than involvement in your church community. Maybe you are showing them how to make it seem like you are the perfect family outside of your home, but inside you are falling apart at the seams. Maybe you are showing them how to be independent of all, instead of being fully dependent on Christ.

What spiritual traits are you passing down?

I know that when it comes down to it, our children’s relationship with Christ is just that – their relationship! It’s not ours. And though we may try, it is only God who does the softening of their hearts. But I fully believe that we can have an impact on their relationship with Christ in the future by what we are showing them in the present. 

What are you showing your kids? 

“Your kids” doesn’t have to only be defined as your biological children. It could be the neighbor girl and boy who spend a lot of time in your home, it could be your niece or nephew, or maybe the college babysitter. It could be a friend, a sister, a brother or even your parents. 

We are all leading someone. 

Who are you leading? And what are you teaching them?

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:5, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Timothy is noted as having sincere faith, but it wasn’t just a faith that he started on his own. It had roots. Roots from his mother and grandmother. 

They were leading him. They were passing down spiritual traits.

Are you, am I, giving our “children” spiritual roots that they can grow from?

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” Psalm 78:4

God, give us the grace to train our children in your ways and may they not flee from it.

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