As a child, I had a dream. It was a dream that millions of girls dreamed. I knew my dream involved hard work and determination, but I knew I was up for the task. I wanted to be a star. So I would come up with dance routines that blew Paula Abdul out of the water. I practiced singing everyday with the help of Whitney Houston and our vinyl record player. I was going to be awesome.
Later on, I thought that maybe being the first female president would be a good fit. I would still maintain the fabulous singing voice, but I was the smartest person I knew… surely I could solve the world’s massive problems. My problem solving abilities were a gift to mankind.
Nothing here is abnormal to a child’s mind. And that is great. The possibilities in childhood are endless! But here is where I went wrong: I seriously thought I was the best at everything I did. No one else could possibly be better. The best lessons I learned as a child were about my self-esteem… and not in the way you may think.
I believe that we as parents have taken the self-esteem roller coaster too many times. Roller coasters may be fun and enjoyable, but they are not meant to be ridden on a continual basis. It’s easy to find entitled egomaniacs today. It’s difficult to find down to earth types. Ask any employer if I am wrong.
I really think we need to start with that quote from John the Baptist: “He must increase and I must decrease.” If we are serious about raising the next generation for Jesus Christ, humility needs to be a part of that equation. Humility flies in the face of everything society tells us to teach our children today. Yet, how many problems that our kids face could be solved by a little humility? It may surprise you.
Never before has our family had a word for the year, but the Lord really impressed this on me for this year. As I tend to the inter relational issues that arise in our family, in myself, one word stuck out.
If my kids learn nothing else this year than to think of others more than themselves, I will smile.
Who gets the last cookie? Others.
Why do I have to clean up after my baby sister? Others.
That’s my book! Others.
When we think of others and put their needs before our own, their desires before ours, we are one step closer to knowing what real love is. I want my kids to know that. And I know that I am not perfect at showing them. So this is my resolution too…
Mom, I need help with this again. Others.
Where’s my shoe? Others.
Can you let me make cookies? Others.
Welcome people inconveniencing us. Invite God to decide what’s important each day instead of planning our own agendas. Let’s face it: when we are following our own plans and ideas, we get upset when they get foiled.
And back to the original thought: When we are focused on helping and preferring others, our self-esteem issues come into focus. I am not the most important person on the planet. People around me have needs and desires and talents and goals just like me.
My value in life, and my kids’ value in life, shouldn’t come from how we view ourselves but in how God views us. He loves us. He sacrificed His own beloved Son for us. For you too! In light of that, I have more value than self-esteem can conjure up. What I do with this “God-esteem” is whatever He calls me to do. One thing He clearly calls me to do is to strive to love others as much as He does. It’s His resounding commandment to us through the ages.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. ~Matthew 22:36-40
So in light of these ponderings, I will quietly and loudly repeat this simple word in 2016: