Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monkey Be, Monkey Do

We say

"Monkey See, Monkey Do"
 when we're admiring our clever children
mimicking a behavior they witnessed.

We also  say
"Monkey See, Monkey Do"

when we blame other kids for wrongly influencing our darlings' behavior.

It took me a few years to understand things clearly
about raising my adorable little monkeys.
Monkeys don't always have to see to do.

1. They have a  sin nature.

Psalm 51:5
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me."
Some behaviors are learned, some acquired, but the nature of sin begins at birth.
Since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden,
all mankind has been born with the same fallen nature.
In other words, the monkeys don't always have to see because
"Monkey Be, Monkey Do."

Theologically, I believed in the sin nature, but I didn't understand.

I was surprised when my adorable babies grew up
and were selfish, had tempers, pouted, stole, hit, bit and refused to share toys.
I thought the better Christian I was, the better parent I would be
and the better my children would be.
Actively pursuing the Christian faith only took care of MY sin nature, not theirs.

One day my husband came home to a disillusioned, sad, stressed-out mother.
I was down that my kids were SO naughty.
As I related the struggles of the day, he looked at me and simply said,
 "They're just doing their job. They're sinners."

It was an epiphany.
 I expected my kids to be good and was disappointed when they weren't.
So, if their job was to sin,
my job was to train, instruct, correct and love them.

Changing behavior won't happen overnight.
It won't be easy.
Some kids may struggle with an area of sin their entire life.

Until the spirit of God indwells them through salvation
that comes through faith in Christ, and gives them power over sin,
it's our job to help them navigate those struggles.

They can graciously learn,
just because they  be, they don't have to do.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tomorrow, we'll talk about the 2nd lesson I learned ~
that one about who the monkeys are imitating the most.


  1. I have felt the same way. I love your husband's statement. Profound!!! LOL!

    Oh, and I see the cause and effect in our children's behavior everyday based on how we talk to them and to others. It is sad to say the least. Even when you try to change it the effects seem irreversable. Be so careful little mouths what you say.

  2. Oh, and I am so thankful that the Lord spoke to you through my last post. I was greatly encouraged that God is still at work in my meager offerings that I give Him. I love you friend!

  3. I am SO thankful that I can pray for my children! I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job teaching them the error of their ways *sins*. I feel like I'm loosing. I'm trying not to feel panic that my one-month-shy-of-SEVEN year old isn't talking about salvation.

    Thanks for this teaching today. I can't wait for tomorrow's blog! :)

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  5. Good post in a unique way that helps us to see clearly. As mothers, we can teach our children The Way to go, but it is ultimately their choice. A big choice. They are little mirrors that often reflect their parents!! Or, are they magnifying glasses?!


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