I think one reason some children are disobedient and rebellious is they don't see the right example set in the home. Many times they don't see the God-kind of love demonstrated by their parents.

For example, if a husband and wife don't walk in love toward each other, it will be evident to their children. It will show. A husband and wife who don't show love to each other are setting the wrong example for their children.

If you as a parent don't show any love to your spouse, how can you expect your children to show love to others? But if a husband and wife are loving and kind toward each other, their children will grow up to be loving and kind too.

Whether you want to believe it or not, your children will do what you do. They will imitate you because what they see in you is all they know. After all, who else is going to train your children but you, their parents? So set the right example and walk in love toward your spouse and your children.

It's so important for parents to live the Christian life before their children, especially if they're in the ministry. In his early days of ministry, Kenneth saw many ministers who didn't do that. They set the wrong example in front of their children, and it hurt those children spiritually.

One way parents can set the wrong example before their children is by gossiping and being critical of others. But you should never talk badly about others, especially in front of your children. You might think your children are too young to understand what you're saying, but as they get older, they are going to understand, and they will remember how you talked about other people.

One time when Ken Jr. was about 12 years old, Kenneth took him on the road with him to a meeting because Ken Jr. had a school holiday. They were staying in the parsonage at the church where Kenneth was ministering.

One day as they were all sitting at the dinner table, the pastor of that church began talking badly about some of his church members and deacons. Kenneth said he kept watching Ken Jr. to see how he would react. Finally, Kenneth said to this pastor, "I would rather you cuss in front of my son than to criticize other people in front of him."

What this pastor said about his church members and deacons may have been true, but talking in a negative way about other people leaves the wrong impression on little minds. If children hear their parents gossiping and criticizing others, then they could grow up thinking that kind of behavior is all right. But it's not.

We should pray for others, not talk about them. We need each other's prayers. Praying for others is a part of walking in love and setting the right example. But if you don't walk in love, and you are always gossiping and being critical, your children will do the same things because you are their example.

Source: The Price Is Not Greater Than God's Grace
by Oretha Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications