It should come as no big surprise to you that I love Star Wars. If this is news to you, you have probably never been in my office, read my tweets. or been around me when my phone has started to ring. Oh, and you’ve never seen my wallet. You know who also loves Star Wars? Jakob. It is one of his most favorite things. Whenever we go to Target or Meijer, the first thing he asks is if we can go look at Star Wars toys. If I am working on my computer, he comes and asks me to play the Star Wars song for him, because I’m so cool that I have the sound track. When we go out to Oriental restaurants, he likes to pretend that chop sticks are lightsabers. And, he loves to vocalize the Star Wars theme song all the time. He has inherited my love for Star Wars, and I really didn’t push him into it. He just observed me enjoying it, wanted to watch it with me, and it just happened.
He has inherited other things from me and Sarah, as well. He behaves like we do, and it’s fun to see. It could also be scary, depending on the situation. He makes me more aware of myself and shortcomings, because I’m afraid he’ll repeat something he shouldn’t say – especially at church! – or he’ll develop issues similar to mine. The other day, he and I were alone in the car, and someone turned out in front of me and never made it up to speed. I had to pass, because they stayed solidly at 35 in a 45 MPH zone. I was annoyed and shouted, “Come on! If you’re not going to drive, don’t turn in front of me!” I was upset. From the backseat, I heard Jakob ask me, “You okay, Daddy?” He asked so sweetly, too. He was worried that I was upset, and he wanted to make sure I was alright. I immediately felt guilty, because his concern revealed that he had heard me and witnessed an angry, unacceptable behavior from me.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I have been a trainer, and I have been trained. Training isn’t just telling or teaching from a manual. It also involves demonstrating behavior, so the trainee can emulate it. Often times, it also involves showing not just what, but also how and why. This is how we train our kids. We demonstrate our love and devotion to God, so they can emulate it. We teach them what it means to love God, and we show them how to do it, and we tell them why it’s important.
What will your kids learn to love from you? How will they learn to behave?