1989 marked the movie release of the comedy “Look Who’s Talking” featuring superstars John Travolta, Kristie Alley, and Bruce Willis. The main character gets pregnant and gives birth to baby boy Mikey (with Bruce Willis providing his voice over). Together, movie watchers laughed out loud as Mikey’s words gave us the imagination to understand what babies are really thinking. Guess what? We conclude, from the movie, that babies might actually see and understand a lot more than we give them credit for.
Anyone who has kids knows the internal struggles and anxiety of trying to do our best to raise our kids “properly” and give them the best chance at having a great future and better opportunities than we did at their age. Some of those desires are quite healthy and responsible. Others cause unnecessary stress, guilt, and overall poor decision-making. Regardless of where we land, one thing certainly remains true, our kids are watching and they don’t always draw the same conclusions about our choices that we do. As a mom of a girl, I am quite aware of this fact.
A few weeks ago I took my eight year old daughter to the gym with me. Her father was at work, so she sat in the hallway where she completed homework, and occasionally peeked into my class to see what I was doing. This was the day for my “Body Pump” class, and I have been working to build stamina and increase my weights. I’m not in my 20s anymore and sometimes the class feels harder than others, especially as we near the end of the one hour non-stop workout. As I pressed up my weight, my arms began to shake and I was about ready to take a break. But I glanced over to the hallway door and noticed that my daughter was watching, so I pressed through, pushed that weight up, and became even stronger. I want my little girl to learn something about pressing through when things get hard, and discipling herself to accomplish goals. I also want her to learn the responsibilities of caring for her body as a means of thanksgiving for her life and health, and as good stewardship of the body that God has given her. So I pressed, and she noticed. As we walked to the car, she said, “Good job, momma! I know you were tired but you didn’t give up.” No, I didn’t baby. No I didn’t.
Every time I doubt who God has called me to be or what he has gifted me to do, I affirm the truth of his Word, and I look to my daughter. Understanding the innocence or perspective of a child reminds me that God does not see as we see. We only look at the outward appearance, but God knows our hearts. (1 Samuel 16:7) This exchange with my daughter let me know that sometimes, even when I don’t communicate, she sees and knows my heart. She doesn’t see the doubt. She believes that I always have a “can do” attitude. This is a testament to all of us, whether we are parenting biological children or have accepted the charge to raise up infants and children in the body of Christ (Reference Hebrews 5:11-14). Somebody is always watching…
Specifically as a people of God, those called to disciple others, our daily choices and actions are the very things that point others to Christ. Whether they communicate it or not, they are watching us and drawing conclusions about God. The Apostle Paul understood this reality and his responsibilities to model a disciplined, obedience, and full life and ministry to others. He went so far as to say, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1 NIV).” Wow! That’s a bold and terrifying statement because we all know that we screw up, and don’t always follow the example of Christ perfectly. None of us are without sin. Certainly, Paul knew this, but Paul also knew that his intentions were to follow after Jesus, and since people are always watching and modeling others, they might as well model after him. At least he was moving in the right decision.
The question of the day is, “How can you model Jesus for other’s this week?”
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2015