Spiritual Growth | Columnist Forum Vol 32 No 1
When my older two grands were young, I came up with a jingle about behavior. “You gotta choose to be good! (Sing twice). ‘Cause Jesus wants you to be good.” It has a cute melody to catch children’s attention, but it is a foundational truth of behavior.
A common human dysfunction is to blame others for our own actions. “You make me mad!” No, no one has the power to make us mad. We choose our emotions! Something happens that creates a feeling, and we choose to act out.
This is a foundational issue that I counsel on a regular basis. No other person has the power to control my emotions or actions unless I allow it. It started in Genesis with Adam and Eve. Adam blamed God for giving him Eve. Eve blamed the devil for his influence. Neither Adam nor Eve wanted to take responsibility for their own actions.
This is exactly what happens in the adult world also! Many adults want to blame others for their actions. God will not accept our excuse to blame another person for how we choose to behave. We must teach our children by example that all of us are responsible to God for our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
God’s Word teaches that all of us will answer to God for every idle word that we speak. As parents, we must teach by example. We are to speak the truth and do it in love. We must be consistent in choosing godly words and attitudes.
It is simple! As adults, we are the example to our children. We teach by example. We choose not to blow up and say angry words. We must choose to be in control of our emotions. Why? Because we will answer to God for every word and action! Behavior is a choice for adults as well as children. Children must be taught by example. It is hour-by-hour continual disciplining and teaching by example. Parents must be consistent! We adults must choose to be good!!