Paul’s life matched his words to such an extent that he could make this bold statement! And those who imitated his life became more like Christ.
As parents, we should follow Christ so closely that we can say to our children, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” We are our children’s first and most closely observed role model. This does not mean that we have to be perfect. But our lives should be open before them to see all of what Jesus does in us as we rely on His strength for our obedience and His redemption for our failures.
In his letter to the Philippians Paul wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9). What have our children learned and received from us? What have they heard us say? What have they seen us do? If we are imitating Christ, they will have learned, received, heard, and seen Him. And the promise is that God’s peace will be in their hearts.