We all want our kids to grow up with good self esteem. We want them to be able to take pride in their accomplishments and abilities. However, there is a point where pride crosses a line and becomes a negative influence in our kids lives. This Sunday pastor Brian will be teaching on the deadly sin of Pride. That got me thinking about what we can do as parents to help our kids develop a humble spirit while still maintaining a healthy view of themselves. Here are a few thoughts:
Help kids identify the talents God has given them and teach them that they are gifts from God
This can be as simple as complimenting your child on something they have done well by saying, “Wow, God really gave you a talent for …” If you find it difficult to identify talents you see in your child, involve them in the process by asking them what they think they are good at. This can be an eye opening experience for you as a parent. Knowing how your kids view themselves will help you know how to encourage them in developing their God given talents. You will be amazed at how your kids will beam at your observations and gain self-awareness of who God created them to be.
As you help your children see the gifts God has planted in them, reinforce that God gives us these talents to benefit his kingdom and to show love to others. It’s important for kids to begin to realize that they excel in certain areas not solely because of their own ambition and skill but because God created them to excel in those areas. Holding this as a core belief will help guard your child’s heart from the curse of pride that can so easily creep in.
Find Ways for Kids to Use Their Natural Talents for Gods Purposes
Once you have worked with your child to identify some of their gifts and talents. It is time to teach kids to put them into practice for God’s purposes. Remember the two reasons God gives us our talents and abilities, to serve him and to serve others. Start with your church, how can your child get involved using their gifts in the church? Most kids will jump at the chance to serve alongside mom and dad in a “grown up” ministry and most ministry leaders will jump at the chance to get your family serving together.
Once you have found a way for your child to serve the body of Christ with their gifts and talents, look for a way they can serve others as well. Given some thought service opportunities are endless, but remember to involve your kids in the discussion and try to come up with service opportunities that reinforce their strengths.
Model Appropriate Pride
The last practical suggestion I have for helping your child develop an appropriate posture towards pride is for you as mom and dad to model it. Take a hard look at what makes you feel proud. Are you deriving your pride from your possessions? Your house, your car, your salary, etc…? Do you have the opinion that you are a “self-made” man or women? Pridefulness in your life denies the role that God has played in creating you, gifting you, teaching you, and blessing you. You may be very talented in your chosen profession but that is because God gifted you with that talent. Let your kids see you live out your humility through your acts of generosity and service to others. Truly there is nothing that keeps the curse of pride in check as well as humble service to our Lord and King.
Jon Dack, Children’s & Family Pastor Northwood Church