Your integrity, like that of a ship, has a wholeness to it. If you are dishonest, then your “ship” has a hole in the keel and is taking on water. Your integrity is no longer intact, and while a ship can take on some water and still float it is a practice in futility to continually compromise the integrity of the ship that is keeping you afloat.
The basic idea of what kind of a man your daughter will want, or your son will desire to be, is a byproduct of your example in practical areas of life (not just the “big” areas). It is who you are in everyday life.
Do you ever wonder why girls can be attracted to the “bad boy type” or stay with a man who is hitting them? It is not that their father was exactly the same, but it may often be that her father exhibited a small portion of such behavior (as I have) and the pattern written on her heart isn’t catching the differences.
Children are much better at imitating something that they have seen than obeying a rule or spoken command. Not to mention that when you pontificate (lecture… preach… elaborate) on a regular basis, even with a righteous subject matter, your child(ren) will grow dangerously tired of it, and you will begin the descent toward exasperating them all the quicker.
Children are great imitators and they will do what you do, preferences or not. It’s true in food, in sports team loyalty, in political views, and in humor. Did you have to tell your children to cheer for the football team that you enjoy watching? Odds are that they developed the affinity for them simply because you get excited over them. Because “that’s how it works.”
I hope all is well with you and your family. Over the last year I’ve learned much in my own…
If you are the best you, that you can be, then you will be an example for your child(ren) to become what they need to be. You don’t have to go far to be an example to your children, it’s mostly in you already, like I said before!