Are you teaching the children in your life by saying or doing?

Are you teaching the children in your life by saying or doing?

Deuteronomy 4:9

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.

What is Seen over What is Heard

I believe that we can talk till we’re blue in the face but our actions will always drown out our words. Children can see right through hypocrisy a mile away. You just can’t fool children. If our actions don’t match our words, our words can be useless. Instead, let our actions do the talking for us. When our children hear us say things like “Tell them I’m not home” (after someone calls for you) or if we talk badly about someone behind their back after speaking to them in a nice way in front of them, children will see that our words mean nothing. They can’t hear what we say if our actions are drowning out our words. They will do what you do, not necessarily what you say, so the question is, are we teaching our children by what we are saying more than by what we are doing? You surely know the answer to that

Watch Your Actions

In the Old Testament, God frequently talked about what parents do more than what they say. Why? It’s because our actions communicate more loudly than our words do. God tells parents to be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live and make sure to teach them to your children and to their children after them (Duet 4:9). Notice that God said to be careful, watch our actions closely, don’t’ forget what our eyes have seen, don’t let them fade from our memory and teach them to our children and even our grandchildren. This command is based upon what is seen more than what is said. God was concerned that our children learn to revere Him as long as they live and that means we must teach them to our children (Duet 4:10) but the best teacher is the visual one.

More is Caught than Taught

I remember the story of a father who saw a tiny baby bird that had fell out of its nest. As his young son watched, the father took a ladder out of the garage and put on some latex gloves and lifted the tiny fledgling off the ground and placed it back into the nest. The boy asked his dad why he used the gloves. The boy’s father said that if the mother had smelled the human scent then the mother would have rejected the young fledgling and the baby bird would have starved to death. By this father’s tender, loving action, he taught the boy that we are to care for God’s creatures because God loves His creation and His creatures too, although He loves us much more (Matt 10:31). The boy never forgot this and without a word, the boy’s father taught the young child more than a hundred lectures ever could so again I would ask you and I ask myself this same question; are we teaching the children in our life by saying or by doing?

A Closing Prayer

Father, You are so kind to me and You love me with a tender heart and as a child of Yours, I can see by Your actions in Your Word that You are faithful to Your Word and the greatest display of love by You was not in words but in action; what Jesus did on the cross and so I thank You and praise You in the great and glorious name of Jesus.


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