“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5.5)
I desperately NEED grace. I definitely want God’s favor. He has promised it to me. And yet, I struggle still.
One day I realized that I am potentially the most influential teacher for my children to learn to NOT be humble: While they live at home, I am with them the most, so our relationship gets the most “practice” for choosing: be humble or be prideful. So, when we have conflict – because I’m enforcing a boundary or because they have abused a boundary, I have to decide in that moment who my counsel is – my self or my God.
When I choose self, I’m determined to conquer and win the moment. I go with my immediate and pent-up feelings, which often include some mixture of fear(of not having control), hurt and anger. Then add some fatigue, and we’ve made dynamite! My words and actions are a reaction to my child’s words or actions. At first, my reaction feels good, but eventually an empty feeling, a dead feeling comes. Do I want a dictator/child relationship? I exercised authority — but what did I accomplish, in the eyes of God?
When I choose God as my counsel, my next step is usually hard because I’m choosing to try to be humble (counting on a lot of grace from God!). This means I don’t react in like manner to my child’s outburst; I respond, remembering she’s the child – I’m the grown up. Well, that’s hard if I’ve got a really good comeback line!
Being humble also means, admitting I’m wrong when I am AND asking my child to forgive me. At times, I have wrongly accused a child, yet once I saw that I was wrong, I wanted to brush over it like nothing happened. I finally came to see my pride and the effect of this dismissal on my child. Finally, if I know my position is right, being humble means listening, not doing all the talking, so I meet my child where he is and bring him along from that point.
O Lord, you’ve been so patient with me! Thank you. I want to be a humble leader for my children. Please assist me with Your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.