At a recent family gathering, the subject of conversation turned to how we begin to resemble our parents as we get older. My niece Bethany, a teacher and coach, and my nephew Andrew, a recent college graduate,  both said they find themselves saying some of the same things their parents said while they were growing up, sounding like their parents did, and even beginning to resemble their parents in manners and attitudes. 

Bethany said that she has found herself giving the same advice to the girls on her basketball team that her mother, Estelle, gave her as a child. And Andrew chimed in that he has found himself on occasion relaxing (and dozing) on the couch after supper in the very same position as his Dad, Tony. As my Mother used to say back home at Route 4, “they look like two peas in a pod!”

And when Bethany and Andrew have families and children of their own, I’m sure that their children will resemble them in many of their manners and ways. It’s a natural generational progression that children act like, think like, and resemble their parents as the children grow older.

Case in point is that Bethany and Andrew’s brother, Joel, has grown to the height (about 6-feet-4) that was common in his grandparents on his mother’s side of the family. Bethany probably wishes she had inherited that height so she could know what it feels like to dunk a basketball!  I guess she’ll just have to be content to teach Joel and Gwen’s baby, Riley Kate, how to dribble and apply the full court press. 

During this discussion, Helen turned to me and said, “And you’re the spittin’ image of your Daddy.” While I admit that I don’t know exactly what a ‘spittin’ image’ should look like, the fact remains that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree that it came from.

While this is true in the physical sense, it brings to mind a question worth pondering. What or who do we resemble, act like, think like, talk like in the spiritual sense?

In Psalm 145, David, the shepherd boy who would be king, describes his Heavenly Father as gracious, compassionate, not easily angered, and abounding in love. He also adds that God keeps all His promises, loves everyone alike, and picks us up when we’ve been knocked down. What a wonderful image of our loving Heavenly Father! And a great example for us earthly fathers to follow. Could it be that’s what it means to be a spittin’ image?

After all, shouldn’t a child of the King bear a family resemblance??

Psalm 150:6