February 2016

I was watching a police drama show on television and was intrigued by how the police were so focused on fingerprinting an entire crime scene to determine who had been there to solve the crime. I got to thinking what kind of fingerprints have we left on our kids’ lives? Can others see them without having to be detectives?

It’s one thing to be in a room and not leave anything that can be found later which is what many parents do when they are around their kids but they never really touch their hearts or minds. Please don’t get me wrong, they talk with their kids, hug their kids, play with their kids and go to all their kids’ activities and events. It is quite another thing however to be with your kids and implant something discernable on their hearts.

Imprinting fingerprints in our kids’ lives is leaving a mark. These marks should be as easy to find and read as a tattoo. It’s what God says he would do for his people in Jeremiah 31:33 “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

I would encourage you to think through how much time you are with your kids versus how much time you are leaving marks in your kids’ lives which will impact who they are for eternity. How do you leave a fingerprint? You need to spend time training your kids in Godly character. Teach them why God says it is important to be kind (Ephesians 4:32). Show them how to be kind and hold them accountable for being kind. Telling them to quit hitting their siblings is not leaving a kindness fingerprint on their heart.

Every one of us has fingerprints others have left that help us determine the choices we make and how we live our lives. The question I am asking you is, “Who is leaving more fingerprints in your children’s lives that influence how they think and determines how they will live?” Is it you and God’s Word, or friends, peers, teachers, coaches, instructors, relatives, TV personalities, movies, social media and more?

When we first took the “Growing Kids God’s Way” parenting class, we were told to list all the hours we spend with our kids and all the hours anyone else spent with our kids. It was humbling to see how few hours we were with our kids compared to others. Fingerprints are left by people your kids respect, trust and want to emulate. Who do your kids want to be like? You, or others in their lives?

Leave fingerprints so they give your kids a way of life that will endure.

Recently I was working with a family with teens and a 5 yr. old. Both parents worked long hours. They still made time to be involved in their kids’ lives by going with them to the events they were in and keeping track of their school work, etc. Their teens told their friends their parents didn’t love them. Their parents would be horrified to learn this and could recite trips the family had made and other things to let them know how much they loved their children. Why did these teens think they were unloved? Their parents had left imprints in their lives, but not on their hearts. It makes a difference!

How well is God writing on your kids’ hearts through YOU? Are you imprinting God’s love and His law on their hearts so your kids in turn can look at those fingerprints to remind them to love God with all their hearts and live for His glory.