I’ve seen a lot of videos recently of young kids imitating their parents or siblings. Not too long ago, I had some old family videos out, and there is one video of my son that is a great example of imitation. I used to coach basketball so my family was at about every high school game. My 3 year old son loved to watch the high school players in every aspect. On this video we were at home, and we were doing the “starting lineups.” Ben would start down by his bedroom and I would say, “And now for starting for the Defenders, Ben Thompson!” He would then run with a basketball down the hallway and into the living room. This little scene happened over and over again. He loved imitating those basketball players.
I have been reading through 2 Kings, and in chapters 14-17 there was about a dozen kings described. Chapter 17:13-15 says, “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all is prophets and seers: Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants and prophets. But they would not listen and were stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in their Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord has ordered them. ‘Do not do as they do,’ and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do.” It’s obvious that these kings followed in their father’s footsteps, they learned from them, they imitated not only their fathers, but were influenced by the world around them.
This past Sunday we were challenged by Pastor Darin to #ManUp. Over the past month, I have been thinking about what I want my kids, Ben and Ashlan, to see in me. What I want them to imitate from me? It isn’t a coincidence that I’ve been reading and thinking on these things, and then have the challenge by Pastor Darin. As says to, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Like I said, I think a lot about my kids and ask, “what do I want them to imitate from me?” I want to be a imitator of not only my earthly father, Ron, who has modeled these qualities, but more importantly imitate my Heavenly Father. I want Christ to be evident in my life. I want them to see my faith not shaken during hard circumstances. I want them to see grace, and forgiveness to those I have relationships with. I want them too see unconditional love. That is what I want them to see someone who is quick to admit weakness, someone who repents of their sin, and falls at the feet of the Savior.
“You are your father’s son” can have new meaning.
5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (ESV)