This week, I attempted to make Brussels sprouts. I know – I’m crazy.
What was worse is that I didn’t think I needed a recipe to cook them. I thought I could do it on my own. Bad idea. They tasted horrible. But I ate them anyway. Eating bacon bits with them in the same bite helped a tiny bit.
The part of this experiment that fascinated me was my 1-year-old daughter who wanted to help me cook them.
She is a tiny copy cat. She will eat things off of my plate that she won’t eat off of her own. And that includes things she loves. If Mommy is doing it or eating it, she wants to do it too.
One day, we were playing around on my bed and I stretched really loudly. She made a similar noise. I was combing my hair. She wanted her hair combed too and she wanted to try it for herself. If Mommy is using a large metal fork, she wants one too.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she wanted to help. But I was. I thought the copy cat stage didn’t start for another year.
Knowing that I now have two little copy cats makes me stop and think. Am I showing them a good example? Do I want my children to act like me? Sometimes, the answer is no.
As I have been studying the different parents of the Bible, I keep coming back to Rebekah. I will say right now, she is a horrible example of a parent. Yet, there is so much to be learned from her. She stuck her nose in places it didn’t belong. She interfered with her husband’s relationship with his sons. She had favorites. She tricked her husband and told her son to do the same. She had a toxic relationship with her husband. She failed to properly teach her sons about God. I have concluded that her household was a prime example of dysfunction.
As I look at Rebekah’s life and the life of her son, Jacob, I see some similarities. Jacob’s name means trickster. He pretended to be born first, but was actually second. He tricked his brother Esau out of his birthright (aka. family inheritance) years before Rebekah helped him steal Esau’s blessing.
Then there is Rebekah’s brother Laban. After stealing the blessing, Jacob runs to Laban for protection and a wife. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying the wrong daughter.
Laban’s daughter Rachel, Jacob’s second wife, tricks her father out of his false gods by pretending to be on her period.
As I look at the trickery that plagues this family, I have asked myself, “Where did it start from? Who did Rebekah and Laban have in their childhood that demonstrated trickery to them? Who were they coping?”
It is a sobering thought. What I demonstrate to my children can and will have long-last effects. I can model godly behaviors and attitudes or I can model ciaos and dysfunction that will follow my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Who I am today influences future generations.
So, I will ask you the question that I ask myself – what are you modeling for the precious little ones under your care?