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116

TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY

put God first. As they see Him act in their lives, delivering them from difficulties, they will learn to trust Him into and through adulthood.

Explain the Importance of Humility

In most modern societies, psychologists and other so-called “ex- perts” have been teaching the importance of self-esteem and exalting self above others—and this has been happening for decades! As a result, guided by this modern thinking, the seeds of self-importance are planted and reinforced by unwitting parents in the very earliest years. These seeds are fertilized and nurtured when children enter the school system. Even at a very early age, they are given more power than they can possibly understand. They are taught that what they feel is right is right!

Modern psychologists, and millions of parents following their lead, have no concept whatsoever of godly humility, or even of the normal kind of human humility that so many in previous ages were taught to exhibit. However, a person has no hope of success in life without true humility!

How many concern themselves with verses such as the follow- ing: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory [NKJV: “selfish ambition or conceit”]; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem oth- ers better than themselves” (Phil. 2:3).

Explain to your children that the earth does not revolve around them. Instruct them to have “little heads”—not “big” ones.

Consider what Christ taught His disciples about humility: “And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall HUMBLE himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:2-4).

Jesus also taught, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (23:12). God can only work through humble minds that seek HIS will, not their own.

Take note. Shyness, inferiority or lack of confidence is NOT hu- mility. Real humility is seeing yourself as you truly are—a limited, physical human being, incapable of achieving or accomplishing any- thing of lasting worth without the help of God. In other words, it is the way God sees you.

Teaching About God, His Word and Christianity

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Teach your children the sobering example of King Saul. God chose this man to become the first (human) king of Israel (I Sam. 9:15-17). At first, Saul responded with humility: “Am not I a Ben- jamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Wherefore then speak you so to me?” (vs. 21).

But after some time in office, Saul disobeyed God. He chose to rely on himself (13:1-14; 15:1-23) and fell into disrespect for God’s government over him (15:24-29). He turned to persecuting God’s servants (19:1, 9-10; 22:6-19), with his sins then multiplying, to the end that he killed himself (31:1-4).

Teach your children that pride and arrogance always lead to a bad end. But HUMILITY always reaps benefits. Notice: “Pride goes be- fore destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall…A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit(Prov. 16:18; 29:23). Then teach your children that “with the lowly is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2).

Require Your Children to Admit When They Are Wrong

There was once a time when people almost routinely admitted when they were wrong or had even made a simple error. This trend has given way to the tendency for many to shift blame to others. It is as- tonishing to see how many ways human reasoning seems to have learned to do this. Some will admit to “mistakes,” “miscalculations,” “indiscretions,” “errors,” “inappropriate behavior,” or even “foolish- ness”—and even these admissions are often couched in words like “if I have offended anybody,” or “if anybody misunderstood what I said”—but are unwilling to acknowledge their conduct as having been sin or wrong, regardless of whether or not anyone was offended!

As discussed, people today love to invoke their “rights,” but seem to hate admitting their wrongs! On the other hand, those who are mature are willing to accept and take responsibility for their ac- tions. They admit their faults and strive to change. They are not afraid to sincerely apologize when they have been wrong.

Former President Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk in the Oval Office reading, “The Buck Stops Here.” He recognized that as president, holding the highest office in the land, he was ultimately re- sponsible when big things went wrong. He was man enough to admit when he had been wrong, and when the country had possibly suffered

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