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Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

Saturday, September 14, 2013 @ 05:09 PMKarl Bastian

Be Proud?!?!

I know. This isn’t what you are expecting on a “fathering website.” You expect me to tell you to be humble, meek, and soft-spoken. Well, O.K. Be those things too.

But BE PROUD as well! How can I say that? Simply because there is a significant difference between pride that is sinful (arrogance) and pride that is simply an honest measurement of oneself that is positive.

The key to the difference? It is whether you are measuring yourself in comparison to others. Consider what the Bible says:

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
– Galatians 6:4

You see? We OUGHT to be considering whether we are doing a good job as a dad – if we are making each day count. And when we test our own actions and know in our heart, “I hit that one out of the park!” We should feel PROUD about it!

The bad kind of pride comes when we start thinking too highly of ourselves. (We all know someone like that, don’t we?) The Bible warns about that to:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
– Romans 12:3

So, bottom line, if you are good at something, it’s O.K. to be proud about it. It’s when you start comparing yourself to others that arrogance sets in, and the Bible has plenty to say about that, including the well known, “pride comes before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) This is especially important to teach your kids. They ought to be proud of the skills and talents they have. Teach your kids to be proud but to be humble at the same time. Humility is keeping the focus on others, even if or when their skills are better. That’s a challenge!

When I was a young boy and was beginning to display talent in some areas, I still remember my dad encouraging me to be proud of those skills but never to compare myself to others. He coached me that others would have different talents in other areas, and that the talents I had came from God, so I had no right to ever boast about them. He made me memorize this verse:

Or who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
– 1 Corinthians 4:7

He wanted me to be proud of my skills but never cocky. Dads, you can model this! Be proud of who you are. Don’t be afraid to say, “This is something I’m really good at,” while at the same time pointing out the skills and talents of others and showing you admire them too. Let your kids know when you are proud of them. After all, they are proud of YOU, and that’s no sin!

The good news is, we’ll all be boasting on each other someday if we are following Jesus! Need proof? Here it is:

As you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
– 2 Corinthians 1:14

Until then, BE PROUD! (But stay humble too!)

Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 02:08 PMKarl Bastian

Dads are good talkers. We are full of advice, correction, answers, suggestions, instructions, and on and on and on.

But there is a problem when we are talking. We aren’t listening. Perhaps you have heard it said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth so you would listen twice as much as you talk.” While I’ve not been able to find that in the Bible, God’s Word does say:

Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
– James 1:19

I don’t think it is a coincidence that anger is included in this verse. Often our talking can lead to anger, if our talking is lecturing or correcting. If you must talk, start with a question. If your child doesn’t immediately answer, don’t assume they don’t have an answer. It may be that they have learned that if they don’t answer, you’ll start speaking. Instead, allow that awkward silence to linger. It will be as uncomfortable to them as it is for you. If you don’t fill it, they will! Keep asking questions.

Listen.

Listen some more.

And then listen a little bit more.

In time, you may be asked a question. Keep your answers short, and they will be more likely to remember the wise and amazing things you have to say. If you really want to share something, ask if you can share something with them. Gaining permission will increase their listening.

Bottom line – listening leads to learning, and we need to learn as much as we can about our kids if we are to help them learn and grow and mature.

You’ll also keep your foot out of your mouth by starting with listening. Perhaps that is why the Bible wisely says,

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
– Proverbs 17:28

So the next time you are about to wax eloquent, resist. And see what you can learn by listening instead.