A child’s imagination allows them to be anything they want to be at any given moment. Nothing hinders them from thinking that they cannot be whatever they want. They are not dissuaded by practical reasoning, they feel qualified and able no matter what…they feel good enough. Oh to trust and believe like a child again! Our beautiful six-year-old granddaughter is “all girl” in the way she loves to play dress up. She especially loves sparkly shoes and accessories, tutus and ballet slippers to dance in. She can also be found wearing her apron and oven mitts or doctor coat and stethoscope. My personal favorite is the time she was found at age three sitting in my chair where I meet with Jesus every morning, wearing my reading glasses and pretending to read my Bible that is always left there by the chair, with a highlighter in her hand.
It is within our human nature to desire to be like someone else and therefore we are always looking for role models, whether we know it or not. Young children often want to be like their mommy or daddy. However, as they become adolescents, suddenly it is not cool to have any distinction that is of their parents and they set out to become their own unique person – oftentimes influenced by media and peer groups as role models. Interestingly, somewhere along the line between young adulthood and middle-age, we discover that we really have turned into our parents, like it or not, having adopted their sayings, habits and mannerisms, etc.
We, as parents, need to be mindful that our children are watching us closely, not only in the young years, but even sometimes more incognito through adolescence and as young adults too…and will most likely end up behaving as we do and becoming like us when they are parents of their own children. Is that a thought that brings confidence or fear to you? How are they seeing you respond to tough circumstances? Do they witness you communing with God in devotion time and worshiping Him as a regular daily lifestyle? How are you prioritizing your time and what do you give most of your time and attention towards? Have they been shown by you how to dress up in their spiritual armor?
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
One time a friend posted a picture on facebook of their young adult son, whose dad is a fireman. Her son was enrolled in the pre-fire academy classes and his dad was showing him how to put on the fire clothes and gear. This made me think. Have we only SPOKEN to our child about the breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, belt of truth, shield of faith, feet prepared with peace and to have the sword of the Spirit in their hand for battle…essentially bringing the box of pieces out into the room for dress up, but just leaving it up to them to figure out how to put them on? We need to SHOW our kids by example HOW to wear the armor and instill in them the reasons each piece is important for their spiritual protection against the schemes of the enemy.
As Christians we are following Jesus Christ by His teaching in His Word and the help from the Holy Spirit whom He gave us to guide, equip and empower us for every good work. He calls us to walk by faith and not by sight, to have confidence and trust in God, knowing that it is HIM that is good enough in every circumstance when we do not feel we measure up to the moment or task at hand. Let us be the kind of Christians who can say to those in our circle of influence as the apostle Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ”. Dress the part for show and tell. Your Abba Daddy is smiling at you when you do.