Monday, March 16, 2009

A Step in Teaching a Child Humility

As a mom, it can be especially difficult to teach my 4 children humility. It is my very nature to protect them from hurt, emotional and otherwise. I want them to be happy, strong and confident. I want them to believe in themselves. God wants them to believe in Him.

A week ago, my 6 year old son came home from school very upset. Some boys on the playground asked him to guess the best Star Wars character of all time. Being a fan, he gave it a go. Luke? "Wrong," they said, "You can't play with us."

My heart broke for my little guy. I wanted to right the wrong, fix the problem, and teach my boy how to protect himself with pride. My heart yelled, 'You're better than them my son! Don't talk to those mean boys ever again!'

But what does the Lord instruct?
"All of you, put on a spirit that is free of pride toward each other as if it
were your clothes. Scripture says, "God opposes those who are proud. But he
gives grace to those who are not.""

I need to teach my children humility. One way is this simple habit: My husband and I expect them to say not only, "I'm sorry" but also "I forgive you", and learn to hear it too. I believe this is so important. And harder than it sounds...

When I have sinned against my brother, and he tells me he forgives me, it takes humility to accept his forgiveness. When I have been hurt by another and they apologize, I need to be humble to truly forgive them, and not to just fluff it off. For my kids, its easy to toss out a "sorry", especially with mom or dad watching, but to say the words, "I forgive you" can be hard to choke out, even for me. They can be equally hard to hear... because our sinfulness is being acknowledged.

Being in the habit of saying and hearing these words is a simple way to reinforce humility in a child's life, and a wonderful reminder of the Lord's ways. God is humble (that blows my mind!), and He has forgiven me immeasurably. Thank You God! May I, and my children, be increasingly more like You.
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