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Leading by example

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Ever seen a mother duck leading her ducklings?  If not, click this link:  www.youtube.com/watch.  It's a beautiful sight to behold ducklings following their mother.  Of course, one or two get distracted by something and have to run and catch up with the others, but they all follow the mother and end up at the desired destination.  It's not as easy for parents to lead their children.  We have tougher choices.  We don't just walk to a pond as our children follow without question.  We walk through life with trials and struggles.  We teach our children all the time without even knowing it.  That's why it's important to live intentionally by teaching our kids through example.  Below, I have five characteristics that are best taught as we lead our children by example:

1.  Being happy.  As life happens, we make choices about being happy or sad about our circumstances.  Sometimes it's appropriate to be sad, but we don't have to choose to be sad when we don't get our way or aren't feeling well.  There have been times when I put a smile on my face and acted happy until my feelings caught up with my actions.  Let your children see you happy in the midst of trials.  This is the best way to teach them to do the same.  (Psalm 100)

2.  Being thankful.  Thank God for what you have and be grateful, rather than always wanting the latest, greatest thing.  Tell your kids you appreciate what God has given you!  (also in Psalm 100)

3.  Taking care of our bodies through diet and exercise.  Be sure, our kids notice what we eat, how often, and how much!  Teach self control by controlling yourself.  (1 Cor. 10:31)

4.  Being a person of prayer.  I usually have my focused prayer time before the kids get up in the morning, but I realized that my kids never see me prayer except before meals.  For this reason, that was the only time they would pray.  Let your kids see you praying and tell them about your prayer life.  They need to know they can pray to God about anything.  (1 Peter 5:7)

5.  Treating others well.  We all want our children to be kind, but when we are with them at the bank and the teller is wrong, slow, and annoying we don't care as much about leading this by example.  Let's be kind to one another, even when it's inconvenient or not what we desire.  (Eph. 4:32)

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