“Dave, who do you think the baby looks like?”
An awkward silence follows. You might call it a pregnant pause.
Now I have a few talents: Ping-Pong, juggling, golf, and standing on my head for two minutes. But if I show up in the maternity ward, please don’t ask me to determine who your baby looks like.
If I say, “He looks like his mother,” everyone in the room will chuckle, and my wife will quickly say, “Look again, He’s got his daddy’s chin.” At that moment I’m thinking to myself, Their chins look nothing alike. His dad Steve has a goatee.
Winston Churchill had it right when he said, “All babies look like me.”
But not forever. Time passes, little Jackson goes through his growth spurt, and fills out, and years later it’s a different story. He walks across the room, turns to his friend and smiles, and suddenly it’s all there. The eyes, the smile, the chin- he’s the spittin’ image of his father.
It’s an odd choice of words, isn’t it? ”The spittin’ image.”
Some sources claim that the phrase refers to a child displaying both the internal qualities of the parents (the spit) and the physical likeness (the image). Others believe the expression is a corruption of “spirit and image”- a child is identified as the “spirit and image” of the father or mother.
Either way, it’s a spiritual goal worthy of our effort- to reflect the qualities and likeness of our heavenly Father to pass that “spirit and image” on to our children.
But that raises the question: how closely do you resemble your heavenly Father? Is the similarity obvious to those around you? As a parent, you have been handed a position and privilege that allows you to shape your child’s view of God. If your life doesn’t reflect the character of the Lord you claim to follow, then don’t bet the farm that your kids’ will.
But if the image of God is evident in you, it’ll be easier for your kids to follow in your footsteps of faith.