Scripture: Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26, 27 NKJV)

Observation: Not as uncertainly. Paul knew exactly where he was going and what he was doing. He aimed to advance as rapidly as possible in the race of life. There was no haziness in his mind about the direction he must take. He ran with a clear and positive assurance of reaching the goal. He exerted himself to the utmost, lest he should fail to secure the crown, a crown, not of fading leaves, but of immortal life, peace, joy, and happiness in the kingdom of glory. The runner in the Greek games had no such certainty of reaching the goal and obtaining the prize. But Paul knew that he, and everyone who complied with the conditions, could be sure of success. When he was nearing the end of his course he gave expression to his absolute assurance that he would receive the crown along with all other victorious Christians (see 2 Tim. 4:7, 8). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (737). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: Have you ever seen your child imitate you?  Your children are depending on you to set the standard by your actions. Yes, your words are important; however, if your words do not align with your actions then they are wasted. My mother was correct when she said, “Actions speak louder than words.” This includes everything we do and every choice we make.
Do you show your child by your actions that Jesus is your best friend? Do your children see you with your Bible open?  Do they hear you in prayer?  Is family worship practiced on a regular basis in your home?
When it comes to media, are we practicing the same principles that we want them to emulate?  They are watching as you flip through the channels on the television and make decisions as to what to watch. They listen to the same music that you do.
Are Sabbath mornings a delight in our homes or a time to dread?  They witness your eagerness, or lack thereof on Sabbath as you awaken and prepare to go to Sabbath School and church. Is it a day filled with “don’ts” or, is it a family day that our little ones eagerly anticipate?
In essence, are you, as a parent, making the same choices that you are teaching your child to make?  Are your words the same that we want them to repeat?
What sermons are your children watching you preach?  Do your actions match your words? If not, your actions really are speaking louder than your words. Yes, parents make mistakes too. But perhaps one of the best things we can model to our children is a willingness to admit when we have failed and to see forgiveness from them and from God.

A Prayer You May Say: Lord, help me reflect You to my child. May my actions match my words. And, when I fail please help me to acknowledge that to you and to my children. You have entrusted me to show You to my children and that is an awesome responsibility. 

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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