Sunday, August 11, 2013

Resolving Contradictory Values in Our Society (or Teaching a Three Year Old Confidence Without Pride)

Boasting. Confidence. Pride. Gratitude. Self-awareness. Faith. Dignity. Self-expression.

As a mother of a little girl (but this goes for boys too) I have been pondering how to give her confidence without pride. How to teach her gratitude instead of boasting. How to teach her self-awareness and at the same time teach her to appreciate being created by a perfect God who loves her. How to teach dignity while allowing for self-expression.

We tell her how smart, brave, cooperative, friendly, kind and yes, even beautiful she is. However, I cringe when I hear her say "I'm so pretty!" When someone gives her a compliment, her reply is usually "Uh huh!" We are working on "thank you."

To those without faith in the Lord, it may seem like our world is confusing and holds such contradictory values. Our society puts the spotlight on gorgeous people who seem "perfect" on the outside and flaunt their "assets" while at the same time breastfeeding in public, doing something that is clean and natural, is a "controversial issue". We value autonomy and independence, but have given a whole generation of people "confidence" without earning it, which just leads to entitlement. No wonder teenagers are confused.

Christians are not immune to these woes of the world, but if we examine the Word, it becomes so simple:

...May I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- Galatians 6:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. -- Psalm 139:14

If we make everything and do everything for Him, then we praise Him for what and who we are. Humility can co-exist with Pride in our Lord. Confidence in Him, Self-awareness of our need for Him. Gratitude for all the blessings He has given us, both material and spiritual. This is what we can model for our children. Simple? Yes. Easy? I'll let you know....