Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 157: Mini-Me

There's something that I have had to come to terms with as a parent, and it's a truth that all parents cringe from- at least a little. That is that children are like little mirrors. As you watch them and their behavior, they reflect back your flaws, strengths, weaknesses, habits and tendencies. It's a shocking thing to come to grips with. They handle conflict the way you do, although it is a more childish way- or not. They value what you value, what you truly value, not just what you say you value. They have your mannerisms and pick up on the verbiage of your daily conversation, so they learn to express themselves in a manner that reflects you.

I have seen this phenomena in my own children, poor dears, but there's another side of the coin that is actually quite endearing- and convicting.

Remember that trip to Wal-Mart?(Who knew a trip to a giant big-box sort of store could be so profound, huh?) Well, while we were in there, I looked a bit at the clearance sections in both the boys and girls; it's one of those times that I envy families that have just boys or just girls. Oh, how nice it would be to just deal with one section and hand things down!

But I digress. I do that sometimes. Ahem.

Norah was looking at the clothes, and she saw a shirt that caught her eye. I thought was kind of funny because about a month ago we were in the same said store, and after choosing a top for myself, I suggested the exact same top for Norah commenting that we would kind of match. Of course I was joking around with her, knowing that she would be appalled at such a suggestion, and the idea was soon predictably rejected.

Without reminding her of my previous suggestion, I proceeded to look for the right size for my girl. She was delighted. There was no mention that this top was akin to the one I had already in my possession until we got home, and she said, "Mom, if you wore your shirt we would kind of match."

"That's right, baby. We would."

The whole experience was a reminder to me of how much she watches me, and although she would never admit it, she wants to be like me. The fact is she already is. I see my faults being inadvertently taught to her and my sins emulated by her. My greatest hope is that any good in me would be mimicked as well. I pray that by the grace of God I can be someone worth looking up to and wanting to be like, and that she would know that it's only by his grace that she can reflect anything righteous.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. 
They are to teach what is good, 
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 
 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, 
that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5
It starts with me at home with my little girl. Moms are to be that older woman to their daughters. I often have wrongly thought of this passage as just a mentor-like relationship within the church, but it's not just that. I starts within the walls of my home, and spills into the church where I seek to minister to all those younger and seek out wisdom, watching the example of those who are older. It is every woman's model to follow, and I hope that God gives me the strength to be diligent in the pursuit of that model.

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