We are all born with a sinful heart. You were, I was, and so were our children. None of us have been able to escape this reality. The sin in our heart may show itself in a different way than it shows itself in another person, but it still has the same root problem: PRIDE! When we are rude or critical towards others it often stems from insecurity, jealousy, a lack of love, and/or wanting to make ourselves look better than another person. It shows we value ourselves more than we value others. This will be a lifelong battle.
Thoughts for Mom:
- Take some time to listen to yourself and how you talk about others when you are in your home. Are you prone to be critical? Do you talk about others and get quickly irritated and frustrated with others? Children often echo what they hear in their home (Psalm 139:23).
- Until we can see and acknowledge the pride that is “crouching at the door” of our own speech and attitudes, our children will not be able to see theirs (Genesis 4:7).
- After spending time before the Lord and asking Him to show you what you need to see in this area, take some time to talk with your children and confess anything that God has shown you. Come up with a plan together that will help you, as a family, to treat others in a God honoring way (Deuteronomy 11:19).
How to Pray Through This:
Verse: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:24
Prayer: Father, please show me the sin in my own heart and any pride that is there. Please show me any way that I have not been a good example to my children in how I treat or talk about others.
Verse: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7
Prayer: Father, it can be so easy for me to give in to that sin that is “crouching at the door!” Please enable me to rule over it and not give in to the sinful and unloving attitudes that are lurking in my heart. Give me wisdom to know how to help my children learn how to rule over the sin in their heart as well.
Verse: “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 11:19
Prayer: Father, please help me to see the many opportunities that You give me to talk with my children about Your love and how to show it to others. Help me to be an authentic example of that love.
Verse: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” 1 Corinthians 13
Prayer: Father, please cause me, and my children, to grow in true, Biblical, Christlike love for others.