This week we’re reading chapter 14 of Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure. In this chapter Candace revisits a topic that she talked about early in her book: parenting. If you’ve been reading along with us, you probably remember that she did not grow up in a Christian home. It wasn’t until adolescence that she began attending church with her family. However, like many later in life Christians, Candace and her husband are doing their best to raise their children with a strong faith in God.
I have really enjoyed this book because I’ve related to Candace in so many ways. I certainly have no idea what it’s like to be an actress, a hockey wife, or a mom of 3; but like Candace, I became a Christian in my teens but didn’t truly develop a relationship with God until my twenties and I want a different life for my kids. I really appreciated this chapter for exactly that reason. It gave me hope that even though my childhood wasn’t the picture perfect example of a Christian upbringing, that doesn’t mean I can’t provide a solid foundation for my kids’ walk with Christ while they’re young.
Since I’m not a parent yet, I can’t share any wisdom I’ve learned on that subject with you, but I’d like to point out a few things that Candace says in this chapter that really stuck out to me. “Val and I need to teach them both by word and example. We also need to establish rules and boundaries to keep them safe and to teach them to live Godly lives.” Have you ever heard the expression “Do as I say, not as I do”? That’s what came to my mind when I read this particular section. I think we all know that line of thinking is not going to work with kids, so as Candace says, we need to teach our children by word and by example.
One of the things I remember from my childhood was that I was told it wasn’t ok to curse, but my parents did so rather freely. No one ever approached it biblically and said that it was something I shouldn’t do because it wasn’t pleasing to God. As a kid I remember thinking that it would be ok for me to curse once I was an adult since that’s the example that was set for me. I think during my teenage years, I almost saw turning 18 as a mile marker for the time when I would be able to do all the ‘adult things’ I hadn’t been allowed to do up to that point. When we try to teach our kids by word only, that’s the real message that we’re sending to them. Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone involved if we instead chose to lead by example?
If you’re struggling to set a good example for your kids to follow in certain areas of your life, don’t be discouraged. No one is perfect, and we all have improvements that we can make to better live our lives for God. In this chapter Candace shared a story of a time when she was feeling like a failure as a mother, and she followed it with this piece of encouragement: “We can’t be perfect all the time, but we can encourage each other and hold each other accountable for our actions (or inaction). And when we mess up, we need to ask God and our families for forgiveness, brush ourselves off, get back up, and try again. Parenting is forever, after all, so giving up is not an option.”
This week I want to encourage you to think about the areas in your life that you don’t want your kids to follow your example, and bring them to God. Old habits are hard to break, but nothing is too difficult to do when you have God by your side! The Bible is full of beautiful transformation stories, and God would love to transform you too, all you have to do is let Him.