“We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.” ~ Epictetus
When I saw my grandson for the first time on September 5, 2013, I was in awe. I fumbled around with my iPhone to record this moment a few minutes after he was born. Noah is beautiful and amazing. He is a miracle. He is full of life, energy, and promise. I believe he carries seeds of greatness within him. His primary points of focus will be his parents, Zachary and Daniella. They will be his first role models. Their view of the world will be his first view of the world. Their character qualities will influence his behavior. Their habits will shape his habits. He will be watching their every move. Being a role model is a parent’s most important and influential role.
How can parents thrive as role models? Who can parents look to for parenting guidance? There are countless parenting books and classes that provide information on child development, discipline, and nutrition. I remember spending hours in the library poring through parenting books. No parent can go wrong educating themselves with these resources. But in terms of being a role model, not every parent has access to someone who can be their parenting mentor.
Early on, my husband and I decided that in order for us to succeed as parents to Zachary and Vanessa, we needed to be deliberate. We needed to determine our intentions. We needed to set goals. And we needed God to be our point of focus. The character qualities that we wanted our children to adopt were there in God’s Word:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”(Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT)
Looking back on my time raising kids, I am so glad we made that decision. As a grandmother, I have the privilege of watching the results of our role modeling expressed in Zachary, Vanessa, and now Noah’s lives.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” John W. Whitehead
(Collage of Zachary, Vanessa, and Noah created by Zachary and Vanessa, September 11, 2013.)