Raising Fruity Children by Dr. Traci Elizabeth Teasley
Children learn what we teach them.
When you hear the word “teach”, what image comes to mind? You probably see a teacher in the front of the room imparting his/her wisdom to the students seated at their desks. Formal school structures, such as this, are an extremely productive way to teach our children; however, do you know we also teach them by how we behave? My Pastor, Bishop Daniel Robertson, Jr.[i] says, “Some things are taught; some things are caught”, which means that our children absorb not just what we say, but also what we do.
All adults have influence on children, whether as a parent, neighbor, uncle, aunt, grandparent, coach, teacher, minister, community or business leader, so it is our collective responsibility to encourage the development of the skills children need to walk purposefully with the Lord. One way to ensure they will learn is if we demonstrate these skills. Children should not only see us reading our Bible and discussing God’s Holy Word, but applying His divine principles by loving each other, being patient with those we interact with, and exhibiting God’s joy in our conversations.
In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus explained to His disciples that examples are more powerful than words:
St. Matthew 7:20 NLT
Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
To encourage our children to “catch” our fruit, we will need to be positively productive in how we live and love; specifically, do we:
- Smile and say “Please”, “Thank You” and “Excuse Me”?
- Refer to God’s Holy Word when making decisions?
- Resolve differences amicably?
- Exhibit a Spirit of Thanksgiving?
- Pray at home and our respective houses of worship?
- Help others willingly and cheerfully?
Even though I do not have children of my own, I act as if I do because God’s children are all our children. It is my job (and yours too!) to bear the fruit of the Spirit so young people can truly understand that God is not only in Heaven, or just a mere abstraction, but resides in each of us through His Holy Spirit.
We all play a part in raising fruity children; the question is what fruit are we serving them? Love or Hate?
Remember, children learn what we teach them. They will exhibit fruit and what they catch from us is more than likely what they will display.
Enjoy Caroline Gavin’s interview with Dr. Traci Teasley via the media player below: