Living as Good Role Models
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”–2 Corinthians 5:17
The third step to good parenting is living as good role models. This should be obvious. But as obvious as it may be, it is perhaps the most difficult to carry out. Children need parents who not only have time for them and let them know that they are loved. They also need parents they can look up to as role models. It won’t work if we as parents tell our kids,“Do as I say, not as I do.” Children emulate the behavior they see in their parents.
One time, a Democratic senator asked then Supreme Court nominee, Samuel A. Alito, Jr. why he might empathize with the plight of minorities or the poor. He had his answer ready. It was the example of his late father, Samuel A. Alito Sr., an Italian immigrant who once defended a black basketball player in college from discrimination on the team. Judge Alito told some senators how his father taught him to “revere” the legislative process. He pointed to his father as a model of bipartisanship. And he happily told them that many people say he takes after his father. Judge Alito’s father obviously has been a model of character for him. We dads, whether we realize it or not, are models for our children. But what kind of models are we? Our children need to see us as people of integrity.
Today can be a new starting point. “If anyone is in Christ,” writes St. Paul, “there is a new creation, everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new.” May we offer ourselves and our parenting relationships to Christ this day and ask him for help in making time, in showing love, and in setting the kind of example that reveals the new father or the new mother Christ has called us to be.
Transforming God, through your grace in Christ, shape us into the caring, compassionate and kind parents you call us to be so our children might be able to see your son Jesus in us. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
- Did your parents possess some positive qualities that you can emulate today?
- Not all children have had the opportunities of having positive experiences growing up. If you did not receive positive examples of good parenting from your childhood what positive qualities and attributes do you see in Jesus from the Gospels that you can emulate as a parent?
- When our children look at us do they see positive examples for them to follow?