Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Being an Example for Our Children

When darkness enters our life, we know that God is holding our hand.
This morning I read in the Bible from the book of Matthew, chapter 17.  In the account of Matthew, he records the events of Peter, James and John going with Jesus to the Mount of Transfiguration. 

God's presence is all around us.
I don’t believe any of the three disciples knew what was going to transpire when first climbing up the mountain.  When Moses and Elijah first appeared, and began talking to Jesus, all three began to shine as bright as the sun, and it startled the apostles.  In Peter’s haste, he tried to interrupt Jesus’ talk with Moses and Elijah.  Peter wanted to tell Jesus that he would build shelters for the three of them.  God then appeared in a cloud and spoke to Peter, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”  In the beginning, with Peter’s nervousness he spoke without thinking first, he was too excited to reason things out.  God then gently asked him to be still and listen to Jesus.  God was redirecting Peter’s thoughts to something that was constructive.  Also, God did not leave the disciples alone in their fear, he sent his son to comfort them.  The next thing they experienced, while being fearful, was that of a gentle touch of Jesus’ hand on their shoulders.  Jesus was telling them not to be afraid.  He was expressing his love for them by taking away their fear. They trusted Jesus because each of them knew that he cared for the disciples very much. 

Many times as a principal, I have observed how the experienced teacher works well with their children in their classroom.  At times, I ‘ve seen students coming into a classroom from recess or Physical Education class; they were all excited and restless.  The experienced teacher at that time, instead of telling the class to be quiet,  redirected their students to a focused task right away upon entering the classroom.  This teacher was wise in that she/he was channeling their energy towards a productive task that yielded rewards for the individual student.  On the other hand, the inexperienced teacher tries to quell the student’s excess energy by telling them to be quiet, and eventually raising their voice to the pitch of the students themselves.  When this is done, that teacher has lost control and reverts to ultimatums; this puts the students in an adversarial position with the teacher.  After that, the class activities are carried out with the students in a push-pull relationship with the teacher.  When this occurs, it then becomes difficult, to say the least, in teaching the children the knowledge that the instructor wants to convey.   

He comforts us and gives us hope.
Jesus, instead of telling the disciples to be quiet next time and listen to what was being said, did just the opposite.  He let the disciples know that he cared for them and spoke gently to each of them as a friend.  Jesus was their teacher, and the disciples respected him and felt safe with Jesus.  The disciples knew that Jesus was there to help them to learn more about God.  If Jesus had been angry with his disciples and shouted at them, a wall would have gone up between the disciples and himself.  Jesus knew that in establishing a loving relationship with his disciples, he wanted to form a bond that would help them through the most difficult of circumstances, even when Jesus was gone. 

I have seen many times when children are struggling with their parents and/or teacher and this bond between them is severed, they easily become lost to any direction that is given to them.  In establishing love, it is much more than saying “I love you!”  It is in our actions as well.  As parents, we desire that our children not do things such as smoking, but we must first be the example we want for our children to follow.  Seek God today and ask him to reveal any areas in your life that do not meet with the expectations you have for your children. 

Jesus' gentle touch is near.
Jesus was first a good example to his disciples, and he showed them how much he cared for them by being the model he wanted his disciples to follow.   Jesus always thought of his disciples needs.  In wanting the very best for our children, in every aspect of life, is the essence of being a good parent, and for the teacher as well.   

“Lord, teach me your ways today.  Help me to be the example that you would have me to be for the children in my life.”