Friday, August 16, 2013


Humility:  lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.

Humility is possibly best described by studying it's antonym...pride.  

In this day of "swag", "all that", and selfies it is oh, so difficult to teach humility in a way that is relevant to this generation.  Boys are encouraged to strut, girls are encouraged to flaunt, and selfies are simply a way of life to our teenagers now.  I don't want to be legalistic, and I kind of enjoy the dozens of selfies my kids put on my phone every time they hack it, but there comes a point where pride sneaks in and what started as cute and quirky becomes sin.


Where is the line?

How do I instill confidence in  my sons without encouraging self-worship?  How do I teach my daughters to value themselves without encouraging haughtiness?  It is tough.  And with one teenager and another child on the verge I am in the trenches with this one.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have preached, "It's not about you, my dear," when my kids have to wait for someone else to go before them.  Or when we are sitting down to dinner at a restaurant and they start fighting over who gets to sit by Dad (they don't fight over the end of the day I am chopped liver!) and we end up assigning seats to stop the bickering.  How about when a sibling needs extra attention from mama and another sibling suddenly decides they want to sit next to me in the big chair, in that spot that they had no interest in until the brother or sister expressed a need?  It is hard, in those moments, to look a child in the eye and say, "not now, they were here first and it is their turn."

Consider the needs of others before yourselves.

Today I had a teachable moment with my five.  They begged  talked me into  asked if we could go out for lunch and I, being on a diet, said "sure!" as I threw on my shoes and a baseball cap to head to the local burrito joint.  The restaurant has outdoor seating and it was 75 perfect degrees in AUGUST for crying out loud, so we thought it would be nice to eat outside.  There was one table that was not occupied and, as we went inside to get in line to order, my son asked if I wanted him to go back to the patio and hold the table for us.

"No," I said.  "It's fine.  Just stay here."

"But Mom, if I don't then someone else will get it!"

"If someone else sits there then we weren't supposed to have it," I said.

He looked at me quizzically but didn't press the subject.  We got our food and sat down inside near a window because someone did sit at that table.  As we ate, we noticed a family was leaving, making another table available on the patio.  So we picked up our food and walked outside to sit there, enjoying the sun and each other's company a little longer.

It was a small moment.  It was a chance to be humble, to wait, to let someone else go first.  We still got to sit outside, but without staking claim or jumping in front of the line.  On the surface it seems to be no big deal, but little moments like these add up.  I want my kids to think, to look around and see who might be first in line or who might need to be first in line.  I want them to be gracious and defer to others as much as possible instead of demanding their rights.

And I need to remember that when I get cut off in traffic...or am in line at Wal-Mart.  Just being honest.

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