My wife and I were privileged to adopt a new born girl three and a half years ago, and she’s since developed definite behavior patterns. They include traits we can easily identify as “ours.” Given the lack of biological connection between us , that’s obviously not genetic.
So how did it occur? There seem to be two keys, both of which also show how we adults can pick up traits from our Heavenly Father.
That same dynamic is key to our taking on God's personality traits. Time with Him is crucial; the more time we consciously spend in His presence, the more of His characteristics we’ll pick up.
Scripture repeatly stresses the importance of continual interaction with God. It instructed the Israelites to create physical prompts to refocus them on God in the midst of their daily activities, Numbers 15:37-41; Deuteronomy 6:8-9, and describes the blessings that come from keeping God in mind. See Psalm 1:1-2 (New Jerusalem Bible)(“How blessed is anyone who…murmurs [God’s] law day and night”) and Psalm 119:97. Luke 18:1 recounts that Jesus taught the disciples about “their need for constant prayer.” Paul repeatedly stressed the importance of continual prayer in his general instructions to the churches. Romans 12:12, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2, and I Thessalonians 15:16-18.
We likewise benefit by paying active attention to the consequences of our actions. We can learn a lot by considering which general behavioral patterns and specfic actions produce godly results and which do not. That analysis, if acted upon, can greatly aid our growth in the Lord.
Scripture commends such analysis. Proverbs 2:2 instructs that we should be “tune[d]…to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.” Proverbs 4:1 (New Jerusalem Bible) tells us to “pay attention, and learn what understanding is.” Similar instruction is found in Proverbs 4:20, 13:1, 15:31-32, and 22:17.
(Other images comparing our relationship with God with our relationship to our children can be found at What We Can Learn About God From Being Parents.