Sunday, September 11, 2011
Day Six - Pride
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. Psalm 37:11
Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Psalm 138:6
For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. Proverbs 29:23
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
The following is from this article about instilling Humility in Children:
Do we want our children to be humble? Most of us would hesitate to answer yes, because we tend to equate humility with weakness.
A humble person is not someone who thinks he's nothing. A humble person knows he's something, but he recognizes God as the source of his greatness. Thinking one is something without recognizing God as the source leads to arrogance. And who would want to raise arrogant children?
We want to teach our children that they are special, talented, skilled, and everything wonderful, but we also want to teach them that all these things are a gift from God.
They should take pleasure in their accomplishments, not pride. They are choosing to use the gifts that God gave them for good.
Your son could have used his physical agility and strength to be a bully in the schoolyard, but instead chose to participate and excel in sports. Your daughter's academic accomplishments means she used the brain that God gave her for something good. Both children should take great pleasure int that. They are cashing the check that God wrote and gave to them.
Humility engenders respect for others. Only the biggest among us can acknowledge the bigness in others. It's the small-minded person who puts others down. We all want our children to know and appreciate who they are, and to respect others.
A child must respect the experience, knowledge and maturity of those who are older than he is. When a child knows his place, he asks his parents, rather than tells his parents.
A final aspect of humility is the ability to admit our errors. The arrogant person can do no wrong, while the humble person admits his mistakes freely. More importantly, the humble person always keeps in mind the possibility that he could be mistaken.
TOOLS FOR INSTILLING HUMILITY IN CHILDREN
#1. Don't let parental power go to your head.
The best way to teach our children is by example. An arrogant person can never teach humility. Since being a parent means we're in a position of authority, it's easy to slip into arrogance. "HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY ME!" is not the right way to react to a child who is not listening. Our job is to teach patiently and respectfully. The very manner in which we deal with our children's misbehavior can be one of the strongest tools for teaching humility. When we educate quietly, without yelling or insulting, we model humility.
#2. Kids should ask, not tell.
Parents must not only model behavior, they must also verbally teach it. When a child raises his voice to a parent, he must be corrected.
#3. Don't tolerate disrespectful speech.
The young child who is rude and disrespectful will grow into an even ruder teen who may actually swear and curse his parents. These behaviors don't arrive suddenly with puberty. They develop many years earlier from unchecked arrogance.
When teaching a child to speak with greater humility and respect, be patient! It can take many years for children to really integrate these speech patterns into their automatic behaviors. Consistency on the part of parents greatly speeds up the process, as does concurrent modeling, generous praise and an overall positive relationship. Humility will become a way of life and the respect that flows from humility a matter of course.
Wow. Pardon me while I humble myself before all of you and say that I saw myself as the parent yelling to get the attention of one of my children. Anyone care to raise their hand and join me?? Sometimes, and the end of the day, I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I wonder if I'll ever get a full nights sleep and feel rested the next morning ever again, I feel like I need 2 more of me to get everything done, patience left out the back door several hours ago, and I can't seem to find the kind, gentle voice of reason. I yell to be heard, and yet I'm still ignored. That is usually with my 4 yr old daughter, not with Spencer, but still, Yikes. This whole parenting thing is HARD. The more I read, and write on each topic we're covering, the more I see just how inadequate I really am. I am responsible for molding my children into young people that love God. I don't feel qualified for the position.
I worry about Spencer. When reading about bullys and teaching our children about respect and not looking down on others, I see him on the opposite side of it. I see him as an easy target for bullys, to be made fun of. He hasn't figured out what "personal space" means yet. He tries so hard to make friends, to be social. I want other kids to look beyond the jumping up and down, flapping of his arms, the stimming. When he's on sensory overload, and can't handle anything else. I can only pray that any potential bullys will be empathetic and respectful instead. I can love him just as he is, while trying my best every day to help him. Speaking of sensory overload, I highly recommend watching this video. I saw it for the first time about 6 months ago, and it changed my perspective drastically. It helped me understand more of what Spencer deals with when we go out in public.
In the midst of the day-to-day chaos, let's stop to pray for our sons. Let's pray for patience for ourselves, that we can be the example of humility that they need in their lives. Let's teach our sons to delight in their accomplishments, but not use those accomplishments to make others feel less than. Each and every one of us has gifts that God has given us. We need only to use them. It's not an easy journey, but it is a rewarding one. We've been given precious gifts, our sons, entrusted to us for a reason. God knew that through the good times and the bad, that we could handle it, no matter what. Let's pray that instead of having proud and arrogant sons, that we'll have humble and respectful ones. We need to lead by example, and we need to lean heavily on God to help us provide the example.
Pray the pride prayers for, and over, your sons. I'm asking God to give me the strength I need when patience seems low. I pray the same for each of you.
Tomorrow's topic is Purity. I pray your journey is going well. It's an eye-opener for me.
Blessings to you!