So I was driving around the other day with my daughter in the backseat. I asked her what her favorite color was . She thought for a second and then said, “What’s your favorite color, Daddy?” “Blue”, I replied. “Me too,” she said.
I was putting my son to bed last week. Like every night, I put my hand on his head and began to give him his nightly blessing. As I began, he grabbed his stuffed Curious George, put his hand on George’s head, and mumbled the blessing right along with me. Monkey see; monkey do.
Children are hardwired by our wonderful Creator to imitate their parents. That’s why Prov. 22:6 can promise what it does: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” But hidden in that wonderful promise is a sober warning as well. Our children will learn to be like us. This includes the good, the bad, and often the ugly.
As I watch my children imitate me in good things, I also see my struggle with anger and frustration in both of them already. Do any of you have similar experiences? My guess is that all of us see our strengths and our weaknesses constantly displayed before our eyes in the lives of our little ones.
The one good that comes of seeing my children imitate my sinful behavior is that it drives me to confession and repentance, towards the Lord and towards them. By God’s grace, they will learn to imitate this most of all.