In our character development series, teaching kids humility is the goal this week. Being humble doesn’t necessarily come naturally and needs to be taught. The confession here is that humility was actually our character quality for last week, and I’m just getting to it now. Sorry! I’ll be still moving forward and doing our hospitality word later this week
I’m leading a summer book study at my church on the book, “Radical,” by David Platt. It has made me think a bit about humility. Platt talks about the gospel and how we might warp it to try and fit in with our American dream. God might be more of an afterthought because we don’t need to rely on him for our every day needs as much as people do across the globe. We, in America, learn that we can do anything we set our minds too. We are under the impression that our own strength will carry us through. We forget that God not only created us with the abilities we have and forget to give him the glory. We also forget that we really need his strength, wisdom, perseverance and hope. We begin to rely on ourselves, and can develop pride rather than humility and self-determination rather than sacrifice.
Some parents may not understand at all why I would teach the character quality “humility.” We want our kids to be proud of all they can accomplish. We want our kids to dream big and believe that they can do anything. Humility, to some, is a sign of weakness. However, the Bible teaches, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 When we rely on our own strength, we are not glorifying God. God chooses the weak and the humble to do mighty things. I would be nothing without Christ. He created me with all of my qualities, both the good and the bad. The great thing is that we can learn to celebrate our weaknesses rather than feeling insecure and down on ourselves. When we learn to recognize our many flaws, we begin to learn our humungous need for a savior. We learn that we can loose everything and yet still have the strength of God to rely on during those tough times. Does God promise us comfort and freedom from struggles? Absolutely not. However, humility is the quality that brings us to our knees, realizing that we need to lay in the comfort of God’s arms as he gently guides us in His own strength. That is reason to celebrate. With pride, we never realize our need for God so humility is imperative to teach our kids.
Today’s activity is a lesson on the benefits of realizing our own weaknesses and the need for help. The activity involved giving the kids a variety of tasks I knew they couldn’t accomplish on their own. After they would try the task on their own, I would come in to help them accomplish what they wanted to achieve. After doing all of the activities, I made the parallel that when we are feeling like we can’t do it on our own, we need to ask God for his strength. However, I even emphasized that even if we do feel like we can do it on our own, we need to give God the glory while continuing in prayer before we move forward. I said prayer examples like, “God, give me strength as I need to do the right thing.” “Lord, give me your perseverance as I try to learn to swim.” “God, I know you made me. I know that with your help I can be better at doing thing things you ask of me.” Before we move forward, we demonstrate humility when we ask the Lord, in all His strength, to provide what you need to accomplish the goals you have for your life and to ask if those goals line up in His will.
The first task was to lift the ottoman over their heads. I eventually helped them all lift it together and removed one of my hands to take the photo you see as the feature picture of this post.
The next task for Corban and Kenzie was crossing the monkey bars, which they have never done on their own. The both quickly asked for help on this one. I asked Abby to skip one bar, which I didn’t realize she could already do…oops. I then asked her to skip two bars. She finally needed my help.
Another challenge was to pull the other two kids across the lawn in a sled, a task I knew they couldn’t do because I’ve seen them try.