My daughter picked out a picture of the cake she wanted for her 16th birthday. I’d never done a topsy-turvy cake before but with YouTube and how could I go wrong? All I had to do was copy the picture. Right?

I nearly made a fatal mistake. I discovered that upper layers of a topsy-turvy cake would slide off if the bottom layer were not properly prepared. YouTube saved me from this disaster. A professional showed how to cut the bottom layer so that the top layer will actually sit on a flat surface (secured with dowels) and give the illusion of sitting on an angle. I would never have thought of this on my own!

When it comes to cakes, I’m a copycat. Give me a picture and some instructions from the professionals and I’m fine. Children are copycats as well. They imitate what they see and hear. You and I are professionals in the eyes of our kids, whether we feel like a pro or not.

It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. It’s important for our kids to see us in process. My kids saw me wrestle with hurt feelings and disappointment, struggle to be kind to the unkind, choose to serve when I wanted to be served and even give myself a time-out now and then! They also saw me strive to bring the reality of God’s character into every challenge, hardship, joy and triumph. I pray that that is the one thing they copy above all else.

You can be an example for your children that will take them back to Jesus no matter what life may bring. It starts with your own relationship with the God who loves you passionately and is always by your side. If you’re young in your faith, find people you can “copy” for a while. How do they cultivate their relationship with Jesus? How do they live out their faith in the midst of real life? How do they integrate their faith into family life?

Sometimes, being a copycat is life changing for everyone!

…I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT