I Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Not many nowadays despise youth and the more money they have and foolishness they exhibit, the more we follow them. Youth is a god in our country. We want to look young, be young, feel young and we spend millions, maybe even billions trying to get there. We idolize youth. Our children are told they're worth most when they are young. Once we are old, we are useless. But are we, as believers, teaching them to be an example to other believers? Who are we giving them as examples? Are we being the examples we should be? Are we surrounding them with pop culture icons? Or Church fathers? Twerking musicians and posing TV celebrities? Or great men and women of the faith; Corrie ten Boom, Eric Liddell, Susannah Wesley, Martin Luther and others? They will be like the friends they keep. Are they besties with Harry or Bella or Clay? Or do they embrace those who challenge the mind and the spirit?
The word example means someone who is to be imitated. Are we teaching our children to be imitators or to be the ones leading and being imitated? We need to do more than just tell them to be leaders. Give them chances; with siblings, with peers, in the church, in the world. Look for ways to let them practice and yes, even to fail. Help them learn from their failures and to grow as an example.
Being an example in this verse covers every piece of life; what we say, what we do, how we show Christ's love, who we are inside, in our goal to be like Christ daily. It is a 24/7 lifestyle, not something we do sometimes. Teach them like Deut. 6:7 style; all the time!
How do you train your children to be an example to the believers?