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Our Mini-Mes: Reflections Of Us

“My kids are fighting all the time.” “If she would just stop whining and complaining…” “He is always just so nasty to his sister…” “I just don’t know what to do!” These are all things I have heard from parents over the years.

Have you ever heard your kids spew out something that sounds eerily familiar? Have you heard words fall out of their mouths that are totally inappropriate for them to use, but they are words that have been hastily used in your household? Have you watched your children interact with one another and realized it looks and sounds just like the way you and your spouse talk to one another…and maybe not in the nicest of ways?

That’s one of the funny things about kids. On many occasions, their behavior is a direct reflection of our own. And, oh boy, doesn’t that sting sometimes! I know there have been times when I have heard my kids say something and I gasped and said, “That is NOT the way we talk to one another!”…just to realize…or is it?  Are those very words, words that have fallen from my lips?

My former boss and Children’s Pastor at Saddleback Church years ago would often say, “Things are caught, not taught.” We shouldn’t underestimate the power of our actions and words. Our children are watching and listening, even when we don’t think they are. What we are modeling is molding them into the young people they are.

One of the very most important things we can do as parents (who desire to lead our kids in the way of Jesus) is to take the time to work on ourselves. The greatest problem isn’t that our kids are being selfish, using inappropriate language, being unkind, or not being patient. The greatest problem is that we are also doing those things.

We must be the first ones to make the change. And brothers and sisters, this is NOT easy! A lifetime of bad habits, selfish living, and unhealthy relational interactions are hard things to break free from. But it is possible! The question is, are you willing to put in the work, shift your priorities, and make the necessary changes to reap the Fruit of the Spirit?

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” And 1 John 2:6 instructs, Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

We have an opportunity to be the generation in our family that breaks those cycles. We have the opportunity to heal from the hurts and hang-ups in our lives. We have the opportunity to learn and practice the TRUTH and teachings of the Living Word of God.

The call of Jesus is to take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24-25). When we follow Him, we are no longer conforming to the ways of the world, we are deciding to follow the ways of Jesus. When we do this, we have the opportunity to establish a new way of life in our family, one that reflects the image of God.

4 steps that can help us be a reflection of Jesus:

  1. Be in the Word daily.
    You can start with something simple, like 5 minutes a day.
  2. Get connected with an in-person church family.
    We can’t do this alone. God designed us to be in community with one another. We are God’s family.
  3. Attend a bible study.
    A place where you can study and discuss with others the scripture you are reading and learning.
  4. Practice daily prayer.
    This can be done anywhere, anytime!

May your spirit be encouraged today! You are on a journey with Jesus. 1 John 4:15 reveals, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

Give yourself grace and take it one step at a time with your eyes fixed on HIM and Him alone. You are doing one of the hardest jobs on the planet…being a parent. May the power of the Holy Spirit reign in you; may you have His peace and His strength. This is my prayer for YOU today.

Peace be with you, dear friend!

Links to Additional Resources:
Saddleback Church weekend services
The Anchored Life Challenge
Celebrate Recovery
Small Groups
Women’s Bible Studies
Men’s Groups
Drive Time Devotional

If you made a decision for the first time, re-committed your life to Jesus, or need any help in getting further connected with our church, we would love to hear from you!  You can email us at .

Click here to find out more about Jesus
Click here for a Newstart and  Next Steps


  • Sarah Stolyarenko

    Sarah has been walking with the Lord for almost 30 years. She came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior at Saddleback Church in High School. She is passionate about fulfilling the purpose God has for her life. Sarah has worked with children and youth in some capacity for most of her life. She grew up babysitting for many families, and through the years has volunteered in the Children’s, Junior High, and High School Ministries. As a missionary in Ukraine, Sarah helped to lead a children’s ministry at a small church. When returning from the mission field, Sarah was called to a full-time staff position on the Children’s Ministry Team at Saddleback Church. That was followed by indirectly working with children while on staff at Jana Alayra Music. In most recent years, it has been the greatest joy and privilege of Sarah’s life to be on the mission field of momhood, as a full-time stay-at-home mom, supporting and serving her family. Sarah has been married to her husband Slavic for 22 years, and they live in Mission Viejo, CA with their two children, Baron and Sophia.

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