Following Jesus Together: Following Him so that our Children can Follow Us
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me as I always imitate Christ.” As parents, we should be able to say to our kids, “Copy me as I try to copy Christ.” Or better yet, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Children will do what they see.
I’ve often heard it said, “More is caught than taught.” In my life, that statement has proven true. We can say all the right things, but unless we are doing them, our children often won’t catch on. God made us to be imitators. Think about the little baby who repeats “da da da” back to his proud papa. Picture the toddler who wants to wear high heels, while pretending to be talking on a cell phone, so she can look like mom. Or the little boy who wants to put shaving cream on his face so he can be like dad. Imitation is built in to human nature.
So, here in the Dew household, we have a common saying; “A follower of Christ loves what He loves, goes where He goes, says what He says, and does what He does.” We are teaching our children and involving them in our ministry by simply being followers of Jesus together. Let’s break this statement down into its four parts and then see where in Scripture we see Jesus doing this:
- “Love what He loves”: When asked what was the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” In the Dew house, we have two rules that are based on these two commands: Love God and love others. If we do these two things, then I think we can say that we love what Jesus loves.
- “Go where He goes”: Jesus’ parting words in Matthew 28:19-20 give us our direction for where to go as Christ followers: “Go, therefore, and make disciples ofall nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is the Great Commission. This is what we are called to do as Christ followers. Go into all nations. Sometimes this means that we are called to go on a plane to another country. Other times this means we go across the street to tell a neighbor. And sometimes, God brings the nations to us and we are called to just go across town to tell someone who has moved here. If we are faithful to go across the street, across our town or across the globe, we are following Christ and going where He goes.
- “Say what He says”: As Christ-followers we are called to tell others about our Savior. This means that we must know God’s Word and the truth found in it so that we can share with others. As 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” All of us are called to preach, teach, encourage, or challenge with God’s word. We follow Christ when we say what He says.
- “Do what He does”: Finally, if we are Christians, then we must act like the one we are following. This means that we must serve the way He served. We must be humble like He was humble. Jesus said in Mark 10:43-45: “Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” To be a follower of Christ, you must do what He does.
Sometimes we make our faith more complicated than it needs to be. As a follower of Jesus, we are called to love what He loves, go where He goes, say what He says and do what He does. Live a life that follows Christ, and then watch as your children follow you!