Growing boys are awkwardness with elbows. Our five sons spilled so many drinks at mealtimes, the older ones developed trigger-quick reflexes, lifting the plastic tablecloth to contain the milky rivers. In the frustration of the moment I was often tempted to lose my temper and scold them.
But one thought held me back. God thinks "generationally," calling us to construct the next generation one building block at a time, one glass of spilled milk at a time (see Genesis 18:19, Deuteronomy 6:7, and Psalm 78:1–8). When we respond to spilled milk with grace and mercy, we teach our child patience, and we place another strong stone of self-control into his character. But when we handle problems in an unbiblical manner, we risk laying flawed stones that will crumble under pressure.
As parents, we represent God to our children. What we do each day, and the spirit in which we do it, makes a lasting impact. Their understanding of God's nature is formed not only as they hear our teaching, but also as they observe our actions and attitudes. The closer we walk with God, the better we reflect His image (Genesis 1:27).
[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]