“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1
As parents, we are teachers 24-7 to our children. Of course, James did not mean that parents shouldn’t teach their children or that believers shouldn’t become parents. His exhortation simply makes readers aware of the great responsibility born by we who teach–we will be judged more strictly.
By God, yes, because teaching is the highest form of learning. In order to teach, one must have a more intimate knowledge of the truth than those they are teaching. So they are also held more responsible for living out that truth.
But by our fellow man as well. Others will look closely at the life of one who professes God’s Word to others. Does their life align with the truth they are teaching? Are they sincere in their faith and genuine in their love?
Our children will also judge us strictly, for by the life we lead by example, we demonstrate 24-7 what we truly believe about God. We demonstrate whether or not we genuinely have a personal relationship with Him or not. “For all of you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ,” [Galatians 3:27].
If the Holy Spirit indwells us–and if we are believers then He does–we are Jesus with skin on as we walk this world. Our first responsibility is to be Christ to our spouse and our kids. To touch their lives with the love that only God can give. Our marriages and families should so overflow with the love of Jesus that it spills into our neighborhood, community and the world at large.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” [John 13:35]. Everyone–starting with your spouse and children, and rippling outward to change the world to the glory and honor of God alone.