As sinful human beings we are all born with a desire to seek approval from others. If you think about it, we begin praising our children when they are very young – we cheer them on as they learn to walk, talk, and learn even the simplest things in life. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to cheer them on. It helps them to know that we are on their side, supporting and encouraging their progress. But there comes a time when we need to balance that out with instruction about Who it is that enables us to be able to progress in life, in even the simplest milestones. Who knit us together in our mother’s womb, strengthens us, gives us our health, and gives us our gifts and abilities. We need to instruct them, while also seeking to encourage them and cheering them on, about Who we need to draw attention to and Who to seek approval from.
Thoughts for Mom:
- We should always begin by asking God to show us our own heart because our children often reflect what they see us living out before them.
- If God shows you that you struggle in this particular area of pride that your children are struggling with, you can share that with them (if they are old enough to understand) and you can work on this together. It’s helpful for them to know that you are growing and learning along with them.
- Pride is hungry for attention, respect, and worship in all its forms because we are seeking the glory that comes from men, not God.
- There is something within all of us that needs to be needed. Again, that is not necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be directed biblically.
How to Pray Through This:
Verse: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Psalm 139:23
Prayer: Father, please show me if there is anything I am doing as a parent that I am not aware of, that might be a bad example to my children in the area of seeking the approval of others or worrying too much about what others think. I want to be pleasing to You in this and also be a good example to my children.
Verse: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:12
Prayer: Father, please conform me into Your image and help me to have the mind of Christ. Renew my mind so that I might focus on You and desire only Your approval. Help me to teach my children how to live this way as well.
Verse: “Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. The One who glorifies Me is My Father, of whom you say ‘He is our God.'” John 8:54
Prayer: Father, ultimately You are the only One that deserves any glory. Anything that I, or my child, might accomplish is because of Who You are and because You enable us to do it. Help me not to forget this and show me how to communicate this to my children. Please open their eyes and do a work in their heart so that this way of thinking might become a reality in their lives.
Verse: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
Prayer: Father, I want to please You and I want to point others to You. Please open my eyes to how I can accomplish this and to how I can live this and teach this to my children.