At breakfast the other day, my wife captured a picture of my daughter, Daisy, and I waiting for our food. For many, the picture is sweet. Daisy is as cute as ever in her bow and stylish digs. Her smallness compared to my bigness is adorbz. Yeah, the picture is delightful. Agreed.
But, for me, the picture isn’t merely adorable. It’s terrifying.
Why? It captures the reality that my daughter is now, and will forever be, watching me. In my good moments and my bad moments, her little eyes will study me. She will watch my actions, examine my decisions, and observe my passions day after day after day. As Dad, she will not only hear what I say, but she will watch how I live. Absolutely terrifying.
The Greatest Gift I Can Give to My Daughter
Thinking of this, I was instantly reminded of Tim Challies’ words about the power of parental modeling. Reflecting on his own parents and their influence in his life, he writes,
Nothing can take the place of simply living as a Christian in view of my children. No amount of formal theological training, church attendance, or family devotions will make up for a general apathy about the things of the Lord. I can catechize my children all day and every day, but if I have no joy and no delight in the Lord, and if I am not living out my faith, my children will see it and know it.
For all the good things my parents did for me, I believe that the most important was simply living as Christians before me. I don’t think anything shaped or challenged me more than that.1
Of all the good and necessary things I must (and will) supply for my daughter, none of them compares with the gift of having her see Christ in me. Of all the needs my daughter has (and will have), there are none greater than seeing her daddy be in awe of Jesus. My words can explain the preciousness of Christ, but it is my life that will prove it.
With these thoughts still kicking around in my mind, I have only one recourse: prayer for the grace and help I need to be the model Daisy needs.
Make me a Father like you so my little girl will not only hear of you through my words, but will see you, however dimly, through my life.
Keep my eyes on Jesus so, when she sees the direction of my eyes, she’ll look to Him as well.
Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I may be a living testimony to the goodness, value, and glory of Jesus.
All this I ask for the good of my Daisy and the glory of your Name.
Parents, your kids are watching. Make sure they see you, above all else, savor the Savior.