the most important thing you will ever teach your children
She asks the question and I want to hide. Why ask me? The childless mother?
“What is the most important character trait to instill in my children?”
She must see that look—the flicker of fear and inadequacy because her hand is on my arm. “Tasha,” she says, her gaze unflinching, “I’m right in the middle of raising my babies—I barely have time to read two verses a day. Help me? Tell me what I should be teaching these little ones.”
Her plea hits me. Shakes off fear. I quiet my racing heart. Something light and freeing shimmers at the edge of our conversation. Perhaps this, this is what I can do to be the mother I long to be. So I whisper the burning words that are filling me, spilling from my mouth in urgency.
“Humbleness,” I tell her, “teach them humbleness. Be a radiant example and then tell them—over and over again—that we are nothing but Christ is everything.
“Humbleness saved a generation when Josiah was king of Judah. When he heard the book of the law, he tore his robes and threw himself at the mercy of God. And an entire generation was spared.
“It was not until Gideon’s army was humbled, broken down to three hundred pitiful men left to fight thousands, that they won the victory.
“Naaman was able to taste the miraculous touch of God… after he humbled himself enough to step into a muddy river.
“In Christ’s utter humility salvation became available to mankind.
“If our children can learn to humble themselves before our awesome and holy God there is no enemy that can triumph over them.”
I quiet. She stares. The words are resting there between us.
“Us too,” she whispers, “This is for us too.”
Her hand reaches again but this time our fingers meet and prayers dance.
Because the only way to teach children to bow low before the Creator is to spend enough time on our knees that they recognize the stance.
When I was about seventeen I began to identify the reason that my parent’s faith managed to get passed down to me. All around I saw the evidence of disillusioned young people who were walking away from God, the church and anything remotely religious. Why had I escaped? Why was I still holding fast to my Savior? One word began resonating in me. Transparency.
My parents lived their faith “out-loud.” When my mother struggled with her faith, she didn’t paste on a smile and pretend that everything was good. She cried. She prayed. She sought God. Then any doubt of God’s existence and love faded as He met her time after time. And I watched it all. I saw her doubt. I saw her sin. I saw the magnificence of our glorious King and Redeemer when he met her in her weakness. And I wanted that. – Painting Pictures (a Titus 2 post)
So many things I am reading in the past few weeks are all pointing to humility as a cornerstone. I think the thing that so many, my self included, struggle with is that no one has modeled that humility to us….we have no idea of what it looks like in the day in and day out of living.
Yes, I agree. It makes it tricky. I think living all areas of our faith “out loud” is the main thing. Teaching our children, as we learn from Christ.
And praying. Lots and lots and lots. 🙂
This is so good. Just this morning I was thinking, I need to start teaching my daughter God’s Word. Thank you for posting about the topic of humility (something so valuable in this “me-hungry” world), and remembering that God gives grace to the humble. Thank you for including scripture references. I love that this is from your heart and is also so deeply practical. Thank you for paving a little way to help me start teaching my little one.
Lauren- thank you so much for your comment and encouragement! I do feel so tenacious when it comes to the subject of parenting, because I don’t have the answers (then again, who does? 🙂 ) but I want so much to encourage and lift up those who are mothering… So, thank you!
Humility is such an ignored trait of our Lord. Exceptional examples in scripture of our dire need to show humility.
Thank you for this piece, miss Natasha. This is so much for us – for adults – because actions speak so loud.
it is so clearly for me, for my heart to remember… actions, living our faith out loud, is so desperately needed in our society.