Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More on Love (Part 3)

There is a common weakness I've witnessed among families who strive for high standards (of which I hope I am one).  It glares out quite often and sometimes clouds out all the "good choices" with it putrid stench.  I've seen it in myself.  I've seen it in my children.  I've seen it in those around me.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  It's that ugly, ugly thing called PRIDE.

We somehow forget that every blessing we receive, including the ability to make wise choices, is ALL only Gods grace.  It amazes me how easy it is to feel "better" than someone else when I should be on my face in view of my unworthiness. 

 Pride is in direct opposition to love.  While pride is completely inward focused, love looks out to others and places their highest good above our own desires.  As I raise my girls, this is one of the most critical things I want them to grasp.  And while they will have to deal with their own prideful hearts before the Lord, I play a great part in how I teach them to think.

Every day we are presented with questions by our children.  "Mommy, why didn't he get a spanking?", "Mommy, why don't we go to school like our neighbor does?", Mommy, why do they believe in Santa Clause?", "Mommy, why does she have a baby if she's not married?".  And then we have the choice.  The choice to instill a spirit of love or a spirit of pride.

Make sure that these conversations are not led to push our own agendas.  Every one of these conversations provide a precious opportunity to teach some truth about God.  For example, pride says, " Well, Honey, public school is a bad place and we would never choose to send you there because we love you.  Some parents just don't care about their children.  Kids who go to public school act very badly and so we don't want you to be around them." (I've heard this conversation before.)  Love says, "As parents we want to make the best choice for you that we can.  God has given us the responsibility to be YOUR parents and we believe He wants us to be responsible for your training.  The public schools have rules that don't honor God so we need to be sure that we are very loving to our neighbor so that she can see Jesus in us."  This conversation is obviously miles longer, but the focus needs to be on God's heart, not our own righteousness.

As we train our young children to serve the Lord, one obvious thing we need to train them in is service. Beware, BEWARE, BEWARE of raising "spotlight servants".  Those who are eager and ravenous to serve when in return they will receive praise and admiration, but when the glory has disappeared, so have they. 

Cultivate love.  Cheesy as it may sound, love really is the answer!  It's what Jesus commanded us with utmost importance.  Love Him.  Love others.  The ugly head of pride is squashed when love takes over.  Be very vigilant, and pray for my vigilance as we seek to build a heart of love in our children. 


Cheryl M said...

I totally agree with you! That is why I look for ways to do 'secret blessings' with my kids, so that pride and the expectation of praise does not become the focus!

Angie said...

I couldn't agree MORE.You know,I used to be VERY prideful and would have answered exactly like the prideful example you gave UNTIL I had children and they started to ask me those kinds of questions.My children were the key to my seeing my own pride.I remember seeing/hearing Vashti having pride and a sort of "look down your nose" attitude towards others when she was very,very young in a few cases and I didn't like it.Of course,we all know that when we see our children acting in negative ways,they probably got it from us lol.SO it made me examine myself and thankfully,majorly change my attitude so that I was able to train up my children in love for others instead of having the prideful attitude that I had.

Mrs David W said...

I think this is one of the best posts you have written. It addresses an issue I have seen time after time in the conservative Christian circles. PRIDE. I think I have almost seen more of it, than characteristics that would be honoring to the Lord.
Choices are made in the family circle, not because they are the "right" way but, from a simple and earnest desire to honor God. I know, I have struggled with it a multitude of times in my life. I think it is the believer's favorite sin. Good to see a post coming out against it instead of feeding more into this. Thank you Grace!

Caleb and Kirsten said...

Yes--amen, and amen! I so needed this post today. Thank you!

Jessica Smith said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your wisdom! I am truly blessed and encouraged by so many things that you write, and challenged, too. This is an especially outstanding post. I love you, Grace -- thanks again!