Have you ever found yourself face to face with a stubborn little two year old who doesn’t want to nap and truly wonder if you are going to win this battle or not? Well, it took four kids, but I think I have finally met my match. I will willingly admit that I am a stubborn person – I am working on turning that title to a ‘recovering stubborn person’ – but sometimes my pride does get the better of me.
It wasn’t until my second son came on the scene that I realized how ugly stubbornness can be and how frustrating and defeating it can be to try to negotiate with that type of person. If you allow it, you can find yourself wanting to throw in the towel and walk away. Luckily God knew what he was doing when He made babies cute, so I have never walked away and left my fourth blessing. (Exaggerating. Kindof.) However, it has been a good in-your-face reminder of why it is important to be teachable.
God set up a perfect system to help us overcome ourselves and be willing to change into the likeness of Him. Discipline is hard at the time, but the end result will accomplish the desired results if you let it. “If you let it”…. That four word phrase has been rolling around in my head as I think about pride. Pride is a choice. You can let it rule you or you can rule it. One way that you can overcome pride is to become a teachable person. When you are teachable you are willing to try another’s opinion on for size before you make your final decision.
I think it is so important that we teach our children to be teachable. The earlier they learn the following the better:
- They do not know it all.
- Yes, someone else or God may actually have a better suggestion.
If they allow you to teach them, you are setting them up to be taught and changed by the Lord. The following verses come to mind:
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Ephesians 4:20-24 (NLT)
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Create an environment in your home that allows teaching to occur. Don’t insult their character or ability in hopes to motivate them to want to get better. Criticism most of the time results in an unwanted result. Instead explain to them that you too are constantly learning. There are things that you do not know or understand. Explain the importance of reading, learning and searching out the answers.
Today as I talked with my crying daughter I reassured her that I do not expect her to know her times table the first or even tenth time we go through it. I explained that a lot of things in life have to be learned over and over again for it to become solidified in our lives. I tried to help her see that perfection isn’t what we are trying to achieve, but rather understanding and the ability to use what we have learned.
If we focus on these goals we will hopefully prevent pride and stubbornness from taking root and clouding our minds.
- Evaluate the environment of your home. Does it offer the grace needed to try and fail? Do you value your child’s effort more than achievement?
- Think about ways you are encouraging your children to desire to be more Christ-like instead of “me” focused. Do you bring up Christ-like character traits in your conversations? If not, that is something that you can lovingly add the next time you see a little pride swell up.