Christian devotional for parents of preschoolers.
|It is very natural that as moms, we want to talk about our kids. In fact, after we have kids it seems that they are all we have to talk about. It comes very naturally to boast about their achievements whether they were walking by 9 months, such as both of mine did, or they just learned to write their name, even though m any of their peers have been able to do so for a while. We are naturally inclined to have no qualms of letting others know. On the flipside, we tend not to speak of our worries and fears in their development, not even with those we are close to. |
So why is love not proud? Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. There are countless verses of the pride one has in themselves being unfavorable in God’s eyes. It can be argued that it is not a sin to be proud of the gits he has given us, such as talents we use within the church, or the children we raise. When it comes to parenting, however, the boasting that results from pride can be more of a detriment. Not to yourself, but to others around you.
Let us use the walking early example as it is one that I have been guilty of. It usually starts with an innocent question: “How old is your daughter?” “14 months.” “She walks really well!” “Thank you! She has been waking since she was 9 months. She is working on trying to run now.” Shee how innocent that was? You don’t mean to boast, it just slips into casual conversation. For me, walking early runs in the family and it is normal for us. For those that make the observations, their kids probably walked well after their first birthday. In fact, according to www.parentingscience.com, the average child starts to walk at 12 months, with a grange of anywhere from 8 months to 2 years. By 14 months, moms whose children aren’t walking yet are probably starting to worry about their child being behind in their physical development. Boasting of my child’s ability will only perpetuate that worry. Of course, boasting doesn’t need to be about a physical ability, it can be about anything from intelligence to social skills. Anything that makes you proud.
Our boasting can also have a detrimental effect on our children. When first contemplating this topic, I thought about how amongst siblings, boasting of one child can cause the other to become resentful towards their sibling as well as yourself. It could hinder their development as they lose self-confidence and faith in your parenting. When my sister read over my outline, she gave me another aspect. The boasting can also harm the child of whom you are proud. She would hear our dad boast of her to his friends and she would start to worry that she could never meet his expectations. Our kids could feel that we put them on such a high pedestal, that they would never meet our expectations and so will stop trying.
One last food for thought. Kristi Saul gives a unique take on boasting in her podcast episode: “Love Does Not Boast” from the Post Institute. She believes we boast out of fear. Fear that we go unnoticed and if we don’t boast, no one will notice our achievements. This observation made me think. There are times when I fall down the rabbit hole, thinking my husband doesn’t notice the many things I do to keep the household running and so doesn’t appreciate them. In this way, too, the same could be said that people don’t see how much I actually do with my kids; not just in the physical things we do, but also in the teaching of everything from numbers and alphabet to social graces. We feel that our children are a reflection on us, and if people recognize that our kids are doing well, then they will think are doing well also.
In Proverbs 27:1-2, the lord tells us “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” While we boast of our children, in a round-about way, we are having pride in ourselves. We are essentially saying, ‘Look at my child. Haven’t I done a wonderful job?’ We are all God’s children. What our children accomplish isn’t through our efforts alone, but because God helped them to do so. They will walk when God intends for them to. They will accomplish school work on their own willpower and through encouragement from God. It doesn’t matter what others think of their achievements, God sees everything we do for our children and so we need to boast in order for him to hear.
Instead, we should take a humbler approach as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 13:7-10: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Sata, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power ism ae perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am week, then I am strong.”