“THIS AND THAT, COPY CAT
WHATEVER I DO YOU DO IT TO
IT’S A LITTLE GAME WHERE WE DO THE SAME…
OK – HERE WE GO!”
Did you ever play “Copy-Cat” ? I did – a lot! I am the oldest of 4 children and my father was a traveling salesman. We went on road trips often and there was no TV, no DVD player, no cell phone, no hand-held electronic ANYTHING in the car.( I am that old!) We played games. “I Spy” for miles, “Copy Cat” until our Mama begged us for the “Quiet Game”.
When I sing the “Copy Cat” song at a Miss PattyCake concert (lyrics above), I always to make reference to the verse that is its origin:
Ephesians 5:1, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;”
‘Imitator’ is a big word for a little person, and often the best way to explain a verb, a “doing” word, is to show them. “Here – imitate this… do what I do…be a copy-cat” ! Jesus did this all the time! He told stories, he used illustrations, and maybe, with the children, he played gamesJ I like to think He did. So – let’s play a game! You (children) copy me, I will copy Jesus, then we will both WALK IN LOVE, which is the very next verse:
Eph. 5:2, “Walk in love, just as Christ loved YOU, and gave Himself up for you, an offering and sacrifice to God…”
Don’t we love our children? Wouldn’t we give ourselves for them? OF COURSE WE WOULD. And that is how God feels about us! I like these verses better from the Message translation:
“Watch what God does, then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is LOVE YOU. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant! He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. LOVE LIKE THAT!”
See? It’s all about “Copy-Cat”. How do we copy God? We look at the life of Jesus! He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14:7) READ what Jesus did – mostly He loved people. He went about doing good, helping others. I like to look at the word “therefore” to find what it is “there for”. It usually refers to whatever came right before it. Eph 4:32 comes before the “therefore” of 5:1 , so what does it say?
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, jut as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Let’s copy THAT! If we, as parents, will ask the Father to create this lifestyle of love, kindness, forgiveness in US – then our children will SEE it, and naturally copy us as we instruct them. And together, we will COPY JESUS!
I realize – in the “hullabaloo” of life with babies, toddler, preschoolers, all this is easier said than done! In you going, you doing, diapers and bottles, sippy cups and spills, messy play area, crayons, goldfish, endless laundry and dishes, take a moment – breathe – look up and THANK GOD for all of it and REMEMBER THIS:
“It is GOD who works in us both to WILL and to DO His good pleasure.” Phil 2:13
THAT, my friend, is the key – that takes the pressure off us to “DO” it ourselves – to get it all RIGHT! This is God’s work IN us and THROUGH us. Can we love our children well? HE can love them well THROUGH USJ Can we always be kind? Can we always forgive? God, the Holy Spirit is alive in us, and, as we give Him permission, He lives that beautiful LOVE LIFE through us and it spills onto our little ones. COPY THAT!
(“COPY-CAT” song can be found on the CD, “Colors, Numbers, ABCs” and also on the DVD, “Sing-A-Long Fun Pack”, and “Preschool Fun Songs” Go to the STORE at www.misspattycake.com)