Have you ever heard this expression? More is caught than taught? I grew up hearing it often from my parents and teachers. My father was a dentist and he always told his patients, “Your kids should see you brushing and flossing because you set the example. More is caught than taught.” My mother was a college adviser and always told her students, “Take good classes. Stay on track. You set the bar for those around you. More is caught than taught.”
A teacher of mine once said, “Watch our work ethic and motivation as we set the example for you to follow. Sometimes more is caught than taught.” My piano instructor said to us students, “You may not like to perform. I don’t like to either, but I do. Watch and learn because more is caught than taught.”
So that got me thinking about my spiritual growth and that of my children. I think the same adage is true there as well. More is caught than taught. Three specific areas come to mind that I want to explore with you in future posts.
These are the critical building blocks of a person’s life. Do your walk and your talk line up? Do your beliefs beget your behavior? How do you spend your time, talents and income? Let’s see what they are gleaning from your priorities.
Respect / Humility / Gratitude:
Do your kids observe you routinely showing respect to those around you? Or showing humility in a situation that you had right to speak up? Do you often verbalize an attitude of gratitude? Make no mistake. Your children are watching and emulating.
Ouch! This one fruit of the Spirit is the hardest to be accountable for. Self-control is so all encompassing and over reaching into every area of our lives. Eating, drinking, talking, exercising, earning, and spending. What are we saying to our kids through these everyday actions?
The first step is being aware. Aware that our actions do communicate to those around us, sometimes more so than our words. The second step is being intentional about making a positive impact on our children. Not just for today, but for their future too. It’s hard to make the choice to guard your behavior to improve theirs, but it will totally be worth it. What are your kids “catching” from you?
I for one certainly want to be a good role model to them with my life. It’s so much easier than lecturing, don’t you think? I’m not perfect and that’s just as much a teachable moment as any other. I’d love to hear just one of them say, “Well, mom never really taught me that, but I saw her live it out.” That’s how more is caught than taught.
What else do you think is caught rather than taught?