Last week’s blogs on parenting may have been a wakeup call to some. This is a follow-up.
Konrad Lorenz was a psychologist who discovered the principle of imprinting by watching geese. He noticed that little goslings imitated the first thing they saw. When the first thing they saw was him and not their mother goose, they followed him around in a single file line and did what he did.
Human beings are like geese. We do what we see. We imitate the behavior of those who are one step ahead of us. Imprinting is in our genes. That means that we parents are always discipling our kids. Our example is always preaching louder than our words.
Harry Chapin’s song, “The Cat’s in the Cradle” had it exactly right. The father who didn’t have time for the son produced a son who had no time for the father.
We may worry that we’re neglecting the discipleship of our children, but the truth is, we’re all discipling our kids to something. Barna’s studies show that Christian parents place a higher priority on their children’s education and extracurricular activities than they do their spiritual development. They’ll grow up to do the same.
Parents – check out the time you invest in these activities. Whatever you put into your child is what you’ll get out.
We can’t escape the principle of imprinting. Put a TV in your house and MTV may well disciple your children to become rebellious punks who make you crazy. If so, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. Children do what they see. Want to raise up a world changer? Start doing what Jesus did.*
*I suggest you start by reading Luke 4-10 and do what you see him doing there. And if you need help beyond that, check out this blog.