Like father, like son

May 14, 2019

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is a true saying. A television commercial from 1967 clearly demonstrates this principle.

Back then, television stations were required to run one anti-smoking commercial for every three cigarette commercials. There was an anti-smoking commercial that depicted a father perched on a ladder painting his home. As the camera pans down, his young son is painting away, just like his dad but on a much smaller ladder. As the father-and-son team work together on their project, a voice-over announcer says, “Like father, like son.”

The commercial continues with scenes of the father-son duo riding in a car, washing the car and throwing rocks, with the son duplicating the father’s every move. Whatever the father does, the son replicates down to the last scene where the two rest, next to a tree, from their busy day of activities.

Then the father reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. He takes out a cigarette, lays the pack down beside his son, and puts the cigarette to his lips while his son quietly sits beside him observing.

As expected, the son looks down at the pack of cigarettes as if to mimic what he has just seen his father do. As the boy examines the cigarette pack, the voice-over announcer asks a question, “Like father, like son? Think about it!”

This commercial is unbelievably accurate regarding the copycat nature of children and drives home the truth that children can, and will, imitate things they see and hear, especially from their parents.

So, what do your kids see and hear from you that they imitate? It is probably more than you think.

More often than not, children do what they see their parents do. The old commercial clearly illustrates similarities between parents and their children from demeanor to inclinations.

From a spiritual standpoint, however, it is even more astonishing to see parallels between parents’ spiritual maturity levels and those of their children. In his book Parenting with Kingdom Purpose, Ken Hemphill emphasizes this point when he says, “Most parents who want to know where their kids are headed religiously just need to look in the mirror.”

Father’s Day is a time for celebrating you – the head of household and one of the primary influencers in your child’s life. Take a moment to examine yourself and see what kind of father they will celebrate this year. Place everything before the Father and let Him accomplish a great and mighty work in and through you.


by Mark Smith  /  
Family Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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