Why Setting a Good Example for Your Kids is Overrated

By Natasha Crain

I recently asked on my blog’s Facebook page what parents thought the hardest part of Christian parenting is. A lot of people responded, and there was a clear theme: setting a good example.

Over and over again, parents were concerned about their ability to really live out their faith. While no one said too much more about what that meant, I’m going to read between the lines to guess that it means things like:

  • Being more patient and loving—more Christ-like in general
  • Serving others
  • Going to church regularly
  • Reading the Bible and praying consistently

All of these things are absolutely important. If our lives contradict our faith, we are hypocrites and give our kids little reason to think that we really believe what we say we believe.

And, yes, that’s often hard to do (I’m particularly guilty of yelling. I even have a name for it with my kids: my “mommy monster” moments).

But there’s a significant problem with focusing so much on our actions:

Our actions can never fully speak to our beliefs.

And, for Christians, those beliefs are of primary importance. If we focus predominantly on the role of our actions in our kids’ faith development, we can inadvertently leave them with two major faith disconnects…

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Why Setting a Good Example for Your Kids is Overrated