Pride is one of those sins that plagues everyone in some way. Whether it’s at work, home, or at the store, it seems that pride can slip in and take over if we aren’t always on our guards. As parents, pride can override our intentions to be positive, godly influences on our children. If we are not careful, we can end up worrying about what others may think of us or our parenting decisions, rather than what we are truly teaching our children. Here are 3 ways in which you can help keep pride out of your day-to-day parenting.
1. Play with your children. Sometimes adults can forget what its like to be a kid and just have fun. In those times we can begin to worry more about checking email, running errands, watching a TV show, or seeing what others are doing on Facebook than we are having fun with our children. Instead of always doing “adult things,” take some time to play with your kids and just have fun with them, even if it is in public. Choosing to lay aside our pride for a few moments can result in building relationships with our children and putting smiles on their faces. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve probably looked ridiculous making silly noises and faces at my 8 month old in public, but the smile and laughter that I have received from him in return was well worth it!
2. Teach your children about God throughout the day. This can be a challenge because we are often in such a hurry that we fail to miss the opportunities for discussion about God. For instance, when it is raining hard outside we can be more worried about staying dry when we run to our cars from the store than we are teaching our kids about Noah. But sometimes, even if we see those opportunities, our pride can slip in and make us rethink the decision to teach our children about God, especially in public. What will others think of me if they hear me? What if I don’t say something exactly right? Wouldn’t that be sort of weird? All of these fears that play from our pride can cause us to miss chances to help our children grow in their faith and hinder them from knowing God as Someone who is a part of our lives all the time.
3. Be consistent in your relationship with God. Pride tells us to worry about what others think of us. This means that often times in public we act in ways that are inconsistent with the way we live our lives at home. Our children will be the first people to notice if we are “acting” in a different way at church or in public than we are at home. If we want our children to consider having an authentic relationship with God, they must see that relationship lived out in our lives as well. We must be consistent in our relationship with God during all parts of our day, and not compartmentalize it to certain times and places because of our pride. If our faith isn’t authentic all the time and we are merely pretending, who’s to say our children won’t categorize the stories they hear from us about God with the fairy-tale stories that we may read to them at bedtime?
As with any type of sin that we may give into, we need God to help us overcome our temptations and do what He wants us to do. Ask God to show you those opportunities to play with your children and to give you the courage to teach them about Him, even when your pride tells you otherwise. Ask Him to help you develop a true love for Him that will overflow into all parts of your day. It may be difficult, but striving toward the goal of eliminating our pride in all areas of our lives will, in the end, help us to become better parents and better Christ-followers.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)