Our children need parents who set a consistent, positive model of behavior to follow. We often choose to be a friend more than a trusted adult to our children. I catch myself doing that from time to time. It is also important to have a consistent set of expectations as well. What we consistently or do is what we think, believe, do, and eventually become.
Children do not see the truth in the words we say but the actions we make. I can talk about the importance of loyalty and trust, but I need to show it in how I treat other people. The moment I have an affair, for example, everything I have ever said about loyalty and trust is replaced by a new truth, "daddy is a liar and I can be one, too."
It is vital for my children that I set the most consistent, positive example that I can. I won't do this perfectly, and will continue fail from time to time. However, I hope that with a positive and consistent model of behavior and expectations my children will grow up equipped with strong character to get them through what life has in store for them.
"I thought God gave me your grandmother to love me, but over the years God has shown me He gave her to me to learn to love even if she ceased loving me." -S. Truett Cathy