John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

When my two oldest daughters were toddlers, I struggled to get them to say, “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am.” After several creative ways to get them to remember, it dawned on me that perhaps they weren’t hearing the words enough.  I began using  “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” in my conversation to them, and amazingly they began saying the words in their answers back to me.  God taught me a great lesson through that experience:   I needed to be who I wanted my children to become.   I couldn’t pretend or give lip service to it; I had to become it.

A few months later I got frustrated with my girls and spoke too harshly to them.  The Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “Is that how you want them speaking to your grandchildren?”  Of course, the answer was no, so I had to become kinder. 

Although both of these instances happened decades ago and I now have three adult daughters, I am constantly reminded that I am still an example.

May I challenge parents to be good examples to your children?  Be who you want them to become.  Do you want them to be godly?  Do you want them to be hardworking?  Do you want them to have good character?  Do you want them to love their church and pastor?  Then, be godly, be hard working, have good character, and love your church and pastor.  Do you want them to be lazy?  Do you want them to be dishonest?  Do you want them to be uncompassionate?  Then, you can’t be lazy, dishonest, or uncompassionate.

Christ is our great example.  We are to be becoming what He is.  Likewise, we should be for our children what they are to become.


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Jeana Sousley, GSBC Professor

Mrs. Jeana Sousley and her husband moved their family to North Valley almost 20 years ago to attend Golden State Baptist College. She has been a part of training the next generation at GSBC for 12 years, where she oversees the Education department. She and her husband have joyfully raised three daughters and are currently reaping the blessings of grandparenthood.