A little while ago I was visiting an area congregation during their Gospel meeting. One of the local members who I didn’t know came up to me and said, “I think I know your father.” This happens from time to time but not terribly often as my parents don’t live in the same town as us. He told me that I favored my dad but not only that, he said my mannerisms also resembled my dad. He said my dad’s name and confirmed that he was correct in guessing who my dad was. We had a pretty good conversation about my hometown and people we both knew. However, I came away thinking about how interesting it was that he was able to pick up on who my dad was by things beyond just the typical family resemblance.
The truth is that while I’m definitely not a copy of my dad, there are several characteristics I picked up from him. I think to an extent, most sons are a “mini-me” of their fathers for at least for some period of time.
One thing for me that immediately comes to mind is music. I like older music from the
1970’s and 1980’s. Most of the music I listen to was popular years before I was born. I attribute this to my dad. I never really learned to play the guitar even though my dad certainly tried. At our current congregation I led singing one night and a couple that knew my family stopped me after to say that they knew my family was a musical family and wondering if I had that same ability when I walked up to the front. Whether I do or not is unknown, but I certainly developed a love for older music and leading singing from my dad’s example.
Fast forward to the current day: Now I’m a father too.
One of the first times we took Randy to church services I happened to peak over to my
side where my wife was holding him in her arms. He had turned his head in sort of an awkward way to set his eyes on what I was doing. (I probably shouldn’t pull out my phone during church, but I had to snap that picture.)
Talk about pressure. My son was watching me. He’s going to continue watching me for a long while now.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a perfect person. I do try to be a good person but I have my moments of imperfection (sometimes very obvious moments) just like everyone does. I want so badly to set a good example for my son…especially in regards to spiritual things. This means I need to work on myself to be the kind of example he needs.
Here’s the thing… Randy is going to learn from examples. He’s going to learn from examples whether that’s me, my wife, family, friends, and other church members. Unfortunately he’s probably also going to learn from celebrities and others that might not be the best source of information.
We’re all an example to someone whether we realize it or not. We need to be careful regarding that influence and make sure we’re a good example rather than a poor one. Examples have a great deal of power.
How can I be a good example for Randy?
Speech and conduct. Paul told the young preacher Timothy to make sure he was a good example to others in regards to his behavior and his speech among other qualities. One of my personal weaknesses is road rage. I tend to talk to other drivers whether they know it or not. He’s watching that. I need to make sure that he has a good example around him in regards to someone that will conduct himself with self-control and a Christ-like character.
Love. Jesus taught that people would know who His people were because of their love. Love really covers a lot of characteristics. If you love like you ought to, everything else just seems to fall into place. I don’t always love people like I ought to. My son needs to see a man that considers others above himself.
Imitating Christ. Paul also wrote that people should imitate his example, not because he was something special, but because he was an imitator of Christ. If there was ever an example of how a man should behave, Christ is that example. I need to imitate Christ like Paul was doing so that I can serve as an example for my son.
Truth be told, I hope that my son takes interest in things that I enjoy. I am already excited because he seems pleased when I play Electric Light Orchestra on the radio. I hope that he enjoys watching games with me and playing golf. I REALLY hope that he’ll want to watch Star Wars with me when he’s a little older.
All of those things would be a lot of fun. However, if I can pass anything along to my son….I hope that I can set him a good example of speech, conduct, love, and a Christ-like manner. It’ll take some hard work and maturing on my part, but it’s so important to me when it comes to Raising Randy.