In Ezekiel 16:44 there is a proverb that applies to mothers and daughters, and it simply says, “Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’
The truth of the matter is that children do emulate their parents. They do watch what we do and say, and many times follow in our footsteps acting just like us.
This reminds me of a story I experienced several years ago while pastoring a small church. When we came to this church one of our goals was to bring in youth and children, so we encouraged the starting and strengthening of these ministries.
The youth ministry had grown, and we had several families drop off their teens at the church at the time when they met. We also had a few older teens drive themselves there. Anytime there is progress in any part of the work for Christ, Satan has a way to try to mess things up. One of the girls who drove was from a family who didn’t attend the church, so my wife and I visited with them to introduce ourselves. The dad was home and when we were leaving, he said these exact words, “If you ever have a problem with her just call me and I’ll come and dust the seat of her pants.”
One evening we noticed that several of our regulars were missing and started asking questions to the youth that were there. The new girl with the car had convinced them to get in her car and they went together to a convenient store a couple miles away. When they got back to the church the driver was asked the question as to why she did this, when the rules had been stressed not to do so.
She said she could do what she wanted, and she didn’t have to obey anyone else’s rules.
We did what the dad had said to do and called the home. The mom answered the phone and said she would come down to the church immediately.
When she arrived, we thought she would apologize for her daughter’s behavior and would end up disciplining her daughter. Instead, she cursed us out and went on to say that her daughter was not ever at fault and that we were lying about her.
We didn’t even get a chance to get to the truth because she stomped off saying that her daughter was too good for us and would never be back.
As she walked away, I understood what the problem was when I read the back of her shirt which said, “My kids are perfect”. The daughter acted and spoke from what she had learned from “mama”.
As parents, and even grandparents, we have to pay close attention to what we say and do in the presence of those we love. The truth is that they are watching and will most likely follow in our steps. If we will let God’s Spirit rule in our lives and transform us, then we can do and say the right things if our children or grandchildren are present or not.