“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1 NKJV)
Once upon a time I was shopping at the mall with my mom, my four sisters and five kids, ages five and under. Of course, we women were having a good time, but the kids were not and they were letting us know.
During a quick stop for soft pretzels, we watched a mom literally drag her screaming, kicking child through the stores. My sister and I looked at each other, thinking “At least our kids aren’t doing that.” Soon after, I decided to take all the kids to the car so everyone else could finish their shopping in peace.
And then it happened.
I had a baby on my back and three young children holding hands behind me. We stepped onto the escalator, which they all delighted in, and every single child lost it. They screamed, they yelled, they ran, and a shoe went up the escalator by itself. Talk about embarrassing. And then a sweet lady went up the escalator, got the shoe, came back down and helped me comfort the kids. She spoke so kindly that my red face slowly faded to pink.
Later, I thought of the difference between her gracious behavior and my judgement of the other mom with the screaming kid. She had exemplified Christ, but I had completely missed the mark.
We teach our children the gospel by living the gospel. We can tell them not to judge 50 times a day, but if they catch us making a snide remark, they will soon think they can skip over that part of Jesus’ teaching, too. We need to teach in word so they know the principles of Christianity, but it is just as important that we be living examples of our own teaching.
Walk the road of Christ, and your children will know the way.