There is an interesting story about a crab that moves sideways, being taught to walk straight. During the training in the day, the crab will walk straight. When it goes home, it will fall back to its regular practice. Frustrated coaches asked what is wrong with you? The crab said: “When I go home, my mother walks sideways, so does my father, brothers, sisters…all. So, I imitate them.” Children observe and imbibe morals, values, attitude and worldview from their parents.
One pastor’s family came to a counsellor seeking help for their disobedient teenage son. The father’s complaint was that his son goes out of home without information and comes whenever he likes. The wise skilled counsellor quickly grasped the problem. He turned to the Pastor’s wife and asked: “Do your husband tell you where he goes?” She said: “No. He will suddenly get a call; he will be speaking. Then putting his phone in his pocket disappears.” Counsellor asked whether the pastor had the habit of calling home and saying that he would be late. The answer was again ‘no’. The counsellor said: “Discipline is not taught, it is caught. Your son follows your example of indiscipline. He also thinks he can go any time and come any time like you do all the time. You can change your son only when you discipline yourself and lead by example.”
Paul writes: “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:27) Paul was not content as a great teacher, preacher and writer. He wanted to make sure that he practices what he preaches and values.
Sadly, today in society there is a dearth of role models. In homes, parents fail to be examples. In the church, pastors and elders miss the mark of God’s standards. Teachers and professors in schools and universities fall and fail. In all spheres in the society, there are fallen leaders, fallen values which will lead to fallen nations and fallen worlds.
Am I being an example in my own context?