Monday, March 16, 2009

A Watchful Eye

A few months ago, I noticed Caleb putting his hands together when I said "Let's pray." I never actually taught him to do this, but we do pray before meals and before bed. I just always put my hands together and closed my eyes (which might be why I had never noticed). I'm not sure when he started this, but somewhere along the way he learned by example. Actually even before I noticed him clasping his hands together, he would get real excited and squeal when we got to "amen" (probably because he knew food was on its way!). He has a book that mentions praying a few times and has started folding his hands together when we get to that part as well. We didn't teach him this. He just put two and two together.

He doesn't really understand what we're doing when we pray or why we do it, but he'll get there. I love that he's on his way to learning that God deserves praise and thanks first.

It took months of us practicing and using sign language before he used his first sign. I thought he'd never get it. But "praying" was no work at all and he picked it up in no time. So many of the things we learn come by example, and I think the lesson is better learned that way. I don't remember my parents teaching/telling me how rewarding it was to have an active and consistent relationship with God and that we get that relationship through communication and time with Him (though I'm sure it was probably told to me at some point). What I do remember is seeing both mom and dad consistently living out that kind of relationship with Him; that's really how I learned to live it myself. I learned that husbands put their wives first (aside from God) and vice versa by seeing them do it day in and day out. I learned that a person of character was an honest and diligent worker. I learned that good work wasn't done for pay or for praise but for God. I learned that honesty and openness led to better friendships. All of these things came from an example set before me, a mom, a dad, a grandparent, a friend.

He's not even one year yet, and it's already so evident how much Caleb learns by the example that he sees in us. Of course I hope he will only learn from the good we do and not the bad, but it's probably a better idea to cut out the bad instead!