These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel,
He wrote them to teach his people how to live-- how to act in every
circumstance, for he wanted them to be understanding, just and fair in
everything they did.
- Proverbs 1:1-3 (TLB)
Our Purpose: A Godly Child
Once proper respect for parents has been achieved and your authority recognized,
a constant undercurrent of rebellion should no longer exist in your home. There
should no longer be constant power struggles or reoccurring temper tantrums.
Peace and joy should reign in general, and when, through the course of the day,
your child does something disagreeable, a few words of rebuke should be all that
is needed to straighten out the matter. Of course, in reality, our parenting
career is not over just because we�ve made it through the most difficult
stage, that of gaining our child�s respect. But now it should at least be well
manageable. Now that the worst is over, we can slow down and view parenting more
with an eye toward shaping the character of our child as that old tomato stake
shapes and supports the tomato plant until it is strong, mature and fruitful.
In the next few chapters, I am going to share a number things I�ve learned
over the years regarding different aspects of character training and nurturing
in children. Dispersed between my ponderings I have included many more questions
from parents regarding ongoing problems they are having with their children. I
hope that my practical suggestions to these parents on how to deal with these
problems will help illustrate the principles I am trying to convey.
I have labeled and arranged these stories according to the character issue I
felt was most pronounced in each case, not only to make them easier to locate
and refer back to, but also in order to draw attention to your real purpose in
We should not be disciplining and training just to produce a mannerly child we
can show off in public, but in order to bring our beloved children into
conformity to the image of Christ, so that they will be well prepared in their
hearts and habits when God calls them into His service.
As you read on, please notice that it�s not all about spanking, or even about
keeping your child at your side, tightly Tomato Staked 24/7. That part should be
should be over with and you should be moving on to more of a lifestyle of looser
Tomato Staking, involving much teaching, mentoring, nurturing, and
fellowshipping, punctuated with various types of discipline used occasionally as
needed, and adjusted according to the individuality of each child and situation.
Most of the following will still refer to toddlers through the grade school
ages. Older children and teens will be mentioned briefly in the Appendix and
perhaps in a later book.
It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself if
his conduct is pure and right.
- Proverbs 20:11
As I first began organizing this material by character quality, I noticed that
arrogance and pride started popping up in a great number of the stories and
letters. It became obvious to me that pride is at the root of many, many of the
behavioral issues we have with our children. So I decided to gather some of the
most obviously pride related problems together and cover them all in one
chapter. So here we are.
Rather than focusing immediately on correcting the child�s symptoms of
arrogance in this first go round, I�d like to point a finger at the parents of
the typically arrogant child, for they are the ones who are largely at fault.
Sure, all children have a tendency toward pride and arrogance. We are all born
self-centered, and from there it is a very short step to selfishness, then
pride. Most adults still have unresolved pride issues to some degree or another,
and if they don�t see or won�t admit to the vice in themselves, they will
certainly not see it in their precious children. Excuses ensue and disaster
When their child is small and demands to put on his own shoes without their
help, they will overlook his attitude and believe he is just demonstrating the
first signs of self-reliance and they will eagerly accommodate him. When he gets
a little older and insists on choosing which clothes he wears every morning,
they will overlook his spirit again, and think he is just naturally blessed with
good color-sense and they will encourage him with even more free choices. When
he begins commanding other children in regard to the best way to play every
game, and correcting them regarding every topic they bring up to discuss, his
parents will once more miss the state of his heart and simply see their child as
smarter than the rest of the children in the world and congratulate themselves
on what a good job they did birthing and educating him. And so it goes, until
one day they wake up and find they have a ten year old (or younger) telling them
and other adults what to do, and where they are wrong, and believing with every
confidence that he is better and smarter than they, and therefore has the right
to do so!
To get us started with the problem of arrogance, here�s a short letter
illustrating the symptoms of pride overlooked in a child, and the excuses given
Audrey: My six-year-old does something that disturbs me, but I�m not sure what
to do about it. He has a habit of trying to joke with adults as if he is on
their level. For example, when I go to the doctor and I joke around with her, he
feels he can join in too even though I have explained to him that she is an
adult, and a doctor, and should be treated with respect. I think it's hard for
him because as a family we like to laugh and joke and kid around. He just
doesn't know when to stop, and he also seems not to see himself on a different
level from the adults. Any suggestions on how to stop this behavior and provide
appropriate outlets for his need to entertain?
Elizabeth: When a child is above the toddler age, and doesn�t seem to be
catching on to your verbal teaching, and does this sort of thing repeatedly,
it�s time to examine yourself to see if perhaps you are contributing by
allowing him to become pridefully puffed up within your home. How do you allow
your child to talk to YOU? Do you give him the impression that his opinions are
just as valuable as yours? Do you let him think he is just as wise as you? That
he has the right to interrupt and speak his mind at any time at home? If you are
allowing him to think he is on equal footing with the adults at home, he will
logically believe the same applies outside the home, and will act accordingly.
The first thing you need to do to correct this is to stop making excuses for
him. He is not doing it because you joke around at home, or because he �has a
need to entertain�. He is doing it because he erroneously, and with pride,
believes he is your equal and therefore has the same rights as all other adults,
particularly in the area of speaking his mind. You need to determine how you are
encouraging this mindset at home and you need to take serious steps to reverse
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn
away from evil.
- Proverbs 3:7
Here�s another example of a parent not recognizing a problem as one of pride,
and hence not addressing it properly:
Lindsey: My six-year-old has a problem with talking to me about matters that
bother her. When upset, instead of coming to me, she'll go sit by herself, often
to pout or cry. When I approach her, she will sit with me, but won't tell me
what's wrong. I can ask her, "Did you hurt yourself? Did Mommy do something
that upset you? Did your sister do something to you?" But she'll only shake
her head and sadly say, �No.� When I ask her what did happen, she'll either
say she doesn't want to talk about it, or she will just remain silent.
Eventually, she gets over it.
When this type of behavior occurs, what should I do? Should I persist in trying
to find out what is wrong? Should I keep trying to convince her to discuss it
with me, or should I just let it go?
Elizabeth: I strongly suspect that you are feeling sorry for her and perhaps
feeling a little guilty yourself, thinking you might be the cause of her misery.
Don�t be deceived. This sounds like self-pity and manipulation to me, which
are simply derivatives of pride. I would ask her what she was pouting about and
I would expect an answer. I would not accept her refusal to respond. If I really
thought she wanted to tell me, but was being held back by shyness, then I might
do some gentle probing, but even then, I would ultimately expect an honest
What I sometimes do in similar situations, when a child refuses to answer me, is
to have him sit quietly at the table for a while. Then I ask him again. If he is
still resistant, I let him know that he won't be leaving the table until he is
ready to have an honest discussion with me. I don't get angry with him, but I
don't back down either. Yes, I outlast him. He must learn to set aside his pride
and communicate. This is one of the most important things you can ever teach
your child. It is unacceptable for a person to clam up and punish everyone with
his silence. He may appear to be heartbroken over some injustice, but it�s
really just a slight injury to his pride that he has turned into manipulation
and vindictiveness. The longer a child holds out and gives you The Silent
Treatment, the more it indicates that he arrogantly believes he has the right to
act this way. I wouldn't want to deal with such a person as an adult, and I
can't even imagine being married to someone like this. As always, your job is to
teach godliness. Learning not to manipulate, but to humbly communicate, is an
important part of godliness.
�Come now, and let us reason together," says the
- Isaiah 1:18
Esmeralda: How do you handle back talk? I am not talking about outright
rebellious sassing, I mean when children pout in response to a request or
habitually ask that requests be deferred. Sometimes I have observed these
responses tainted by a mean look or verbal anger. Are these times that you would
spank? I'm reluctant to spank because these children are expressing how they
feel in the only way they know how. Please give me some guidance.
Elizabeth: They are �expressing how they feel in the only way they know
how�? Oh dear, red psychobabble flags are going up all over. Nevermind.
Okay, stop immediately - instead of excusing your child, correct him and educate
him. If this is the only way he knows to express his feelings, you need to teach
him a more acceptable alternative NOW.
This is not too hard with young children. Teach them, and then require them, to
look you in the eye and politely say, "Yes, Mom" when you ask them to
do something. Do not allow the stamping of feet, or whining, or other similar
hints of a disgruntled spirit. You can discourage those symptoms in different
ways. One is to tell them, "Now go back and do that again with a smile this
time," or similar. Repeat until they display a good attitude. Remember that
with a young child, if you can change the outside, the inside will invariably
It is unacceptable for a child to pout when given a parental command. Forget the
modern drivel that says a child must "express his feelings." If his
�feelings� are wrong, he needs to learn how to change them, and show
appropriate respect for the mother God placed in authority over him. He needs to
learn to set aside his own desires and obey the Commandment that says:
"Honor your father and your mother". The Bible contains no loophole
permitting disrespect to one's parents just because a child is "expressing
"Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord
your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go
well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you."
- Deuteronomy 5:16
Lena: My firstborn, a son, is almost four. Since turning three, he has been
challenging us much more, which I think is normal. He seems better than a few
months ago, praise the Lord, but he still will occasionally point his little
toddler finger at my husband or me and say something like, "No, Mommy,
that's MY job," or "No, Daddy, that's NOT how you do it."
Sometimes it seems harmless, while at other times there seems to be a serious
underlying negative attitude to go with it. Please help us. We need some wisdom
and I'm praying the Lord might use you to illuminate the issue for us.
Elizabeth: It is common for parents think they should overlook everything that
is "normal". I disagree. I don't believe that just because something
is "normal" means it is right. As a Christian, I believe that we all
are born with a tendency to do the wrong thing at times. So it is
"normal" for a child to do the wrong thing at times. That's why God
gave children parents. We parents have the job of stopping the
"normal" bad things a child does, and replacing them with good habits.
Anytime your child displays attitudes and behaviors that are wrong, and
bossiness is certainly wrong, then you can and should correct them. You are
right to seek out a solution.
Begin by telling him that what he is doing is wrong and he must not do it. With
a two or three-year-old, you might say, "Don't tell Daddy what to do. Ask
Daddy what he wants you to do." Then make him do as you say. In an older
child, you might say, "You sound very bossy, proud, and disrespectful.
Don't talk that way to your father. If you want to make a suggestion, word it
In all instances, stop the bossiness quickly, then instruct the child on what he
should be doing, saying, and thinking. See that he demonstrates to you, the
correct way to act, so you know he understands, and also so that you know he has
a spirit willing to humbly take instruction.
And calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You
know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them;
and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not so among you,
but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever
wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did
not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for
- Mark 10:42-45
Mattie: My five-year-old son is developing a habit I don't like, but I'm
hard-pressured to give it a name. I tell him not to do �that,� but I don't
even know if he comprehends what I�m referring to. Here's what happens:
Whatever the subject, he has to put in his two cents worth and get in the last
word. Quite often he goes beyond this to outright disagreement with whatever was
For example, if we're discussing plans for him to learn Spanish, he'll pop up
with, "No, I want to learn Chinese." Or I'll say, "Take that toy
off your head," and he'll say, "But I like it on my head."
Recently, he heard me talking with a friend about the leaves falling early this
year, and he interjected, "I don't see a single leaf." He's not
obviously cocky or belligerent. Instead, he seems cheery and good-natured, but
this behavior is progressing into a habit that goes beyond what I think is
Elizabeth: Venturing from good-natured opinion into deliberate opposition is
being "contrary", the first step toward becoming
"argumentative". Again, this stems from arrogance on his part. He
thinks his opinion should count for as much as yours and is intent upon proving
it to you. So nip this in the bud to head off what will only degenerate.
Whenever he exhibits his contrary mode, stop him and offer an appropriate model
and insist he follow it. For example:
Mom: I really like it when the curtains are open and the sun shines in.
Contrary child: (with a smile) I like it better when it's dark in here.
Mom: Son, that is a foolish statement. Say: "I agree Mom, the sun is very
nice shining in here".
Child: But Mom, I....
Mom: (in a 'no joking' voice) Say what I told you to say NOW and don't say
Child: I agree Mom, the sun is very nice shining in here.
Mom: That's better; now don't do that again.
Understand, that to precisely label this behavior for your child as being
"contrary" is unnecessary. He has a conscience and knows he is
transgressing, despite the absence of a precise label. He knows exactly what you
mean when you order him to stop. At some point you will want him to know what
being contrary is, how it reflects a rebellious proud heart, why no one likes
it, and how damaging the habit can become, but for now it�s enough to just
call it back-talking or arguing, and not allow it.
Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the
foolish, ruin is at hand.
- Proverbs 10:14
Belinda: My eleven-year-old son displays a very self-centered, haughty attitude
in our home. He is especially ugly to his eight-year-old sister and is becoming
increasingly argumentative and disrespectful toward me too. It�s been
suggested that he needs to be �taken down a few pegs�. While I agree I need
to teach him humility, I�m concerned about how to do so without crushing his
spirit. I know it will be painful for him, but I don't want to squash the child,
just his haughty attitude. Any ideas?
Elizabeth: Belinda, if he is as you say, haughty, you are in no danger
whatsoever, of "crushing" or �squashing� him. In fact, you will
probably find that it is very difficult to even make him feel genuinely
embarrassed, let alone properly humbled and repentant. That's the way it is with
a proud child and that's why we must be prepared to double our efforts, if we
want to get these children to see that they are not God's gift to the rest of
mankind. If we don�t take up this challenge, they will eventually become
haughty, arrogant adults no one can stand. Haughtiness, according to Proverbs
6:16-19, is one of the seven things �the Lord hates� and that are �an
abomination to Him.� This is a very serious matter, please don�t hesitate
because you think you will hurt his feelings. You won�t, and if you do, it
will work toward your goal, not against it.
Belinda: But Elizabeth, he has a very sensitive side. It is so odd! He can be
just as kind and empathetic as he is haughty! This is why I am feeling the need
to be more careful than I might otherwise. When I talk more harshly to him than
normal, he feels really bad about it. For example, yesterday, after a scolding,
he asked me why I was �being so mean to him.�
I recognize that what he feels bad about is how he is being treated, not about
his wrongdoing. He continually turns things around to be about him. All he sees
is himself as the one in the right, the victim. I can tell when he is truly
repentant, and it is not as often as it should be. I am not sure how to get
across how badly he is behaving in a way that he sees it, and yet not crush him.
Elizabeth: Please don�t worry about crushing him. Proud people often appear
sensitive, but it is only because their ego is easily bruised. Their pride makes
them recoil from admitting they are ever wrong. They will argue, protest,
manipulate, carry on, and do anything and everything they can think of to ensure
that they do not look bad. They want to preserve their superior image. What they
really need, in order to acquire some humility, is a realistic picture of
themselves; to be shown that they are not as great as they think they are. The
need to have their ego bruised a bit. That�s the whole idea behind being
�taken down a few pegs.�
Belinda: Okay, I think I understand. But when I do correct him, he wants to
argue and protest and it doesn�t seem to do any good. When I won�t let him,
he gets very angry. What do I do when he is haughty and ugly, or wants to argue?
Do I continue to stop him? What do I say to him? I need some specifics, please!
Elizabeth: If he begins arguing with you, the first thing to do is cut him off
and require him to remain silent. Have him sit near you for awhile doing and
saying nothing. Then ask him if he is ready to listen respectfully to you and
learn something. He�ll probably say, �yes� although he won�t really mean
it. He will only mean that he is willing to �act� respectful in terms of
what he says, so he doesn�t get into trouble from you. That�s not enough,
but it�s a start. You might then move to questioning him about his motives,
attitudes and actions, in an attempt to prick his conscience. Persist, asking
different thought-provoking questions, until you start getting him to really
look at himself and what he is doing and thinking. Ask things like:
Do you really think that you know more than everyone else does?
Do you think you have always been right about everything?
Do you think that even if occasionally you are right, it's nice to brag about
What do you think it says about you when you pick on your sister?
Are you 100% in the right here, or did you sin also?
Do you think you should be concerned about her sins or about your own sins?
As he responds, elaborate on the correct answer. Show him with black and white
facts and concrete examples, how he is not Mr. Wonderful. Go on like this until
you see a glimmer of understanding in his eyes. A proud child is usually very
reluctant to admit being at fault anywhere (but knows he is), and you have to
keep witling away at his ego with reason and evidence until he is forced to
acknowledge his shortcomings.
Ask him if he understands how important humility is - elaborate. Point out
scripture to him. Then ask him how he thinks he is exemplifying humility? Tell
him that a humble person is a person who can say "I was wrong". Ask
your child if he can say that. Ask him if he can say that without adding
"but....." Require him to say he was wrong about whatever actions or
attitudes precipitated this latest incident. Require him to sincerely apologize
to the person he wronged if applicable.
When humbling a child, it is especially helpful to focus on honestly and
gratitude. Ask him to honestly list his faults, and what in particular he did
wrong in the latest incident, regardless of what the other person did or did not
do wrong. Show him that if he is honest with himself he will see that he is not
the smartest, best looking, most talented, etc, person on the face of the earth.
Get him to see that see that even his good points are really only due to the
care, teaching, love, attention, money, etc, of OTHERS, not himself.
In the end, in order for a proud child to be made humble he must be able to
honestly see his faults and be able to admit to them, and he must also see and
be grateful to God and others for everything he has or is.
Dawna at a later date: Thank you for all the advice. It worked! My son is much
better now, and rarely argues. Now he comes to us to say, "I was thinking
that � Do you think that is right?" How sweet it is when your son comes
around and wants you to double-check him for errors before he speaks!
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself or if you have plotted evil, put
your hand on your mouth.
- Proverbs 30:32
Maxine: Frequently, my four-year-old asks me to observe as she strikes a
dramatic pose designed to earn her praise. She seems to revel in admiration.
This doesn�t seem proper to me and I�m wondering if I�m encouraging this
proud and vain behavior somehow. Is it possible I am praising her too much about
the wrong things. What is causing this excessive self-focus?
Elizabeth: Yes, it is very possible that you are inflating her opinion of
herself by flattering her or praising her in excess or about the wrong matters.
That would account for her behavior. If a pure-hearted child brings me a picture
he drew and wants me to look at it, I do, exclaiming over it and asking him
questions about it. Soon the humble little artist is satisfied that Mom loves
and approves of him, and he runs off to draw another picture.
However, if the same child draws an intentionally goofy picture, or stands on
his head, or does some other conspicuously senseless thing, and cries,
"LOOK AT ME!" or "LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!", my Mommy Radar
goes off and I know I'm witnessing an egotistical episode of showing off. In
that case I say seriously, "Okay, that's enough, you look ridiculous doing
that. Go do something a mature child would do."
If you notice any inclination toward pride or vanity, limit praise to only
praise for sincere acts of kindness and humility. Even then, don�t gush over
the child. Let him know you are pleased with him for these things, but only if
he maintains a humble spirit for the duration.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with
humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than
- Philippians 2:3
Claudia: I see disconcerting signs of vanity in my five-year-old. When shopping
with me at age two and a half, she was able to match tops and bottoms together
perfectly. I truly think she has a "beauty loving heart", but perhaps
because I�ve encouraged this, she is now also showing signs of an undue focus
on her own appearance. These are the type of things she does very frequently:
- She puts her hair up in a variety of hairdos several times a day.
- She loves to play dress-up with old ballet outfits and does so at every
- Whenever she can, she adorns herself with necklaces she makes out of beads.
- Every time she passes something reflective (mirror, window, TV) she pauses and
savors looking at herself.
Admittedly, some of this is just common to childhood. I am not concerned about
her desiring to be pretty, but I am anticipating the coming decades and
wondering if I need to head-off what might swell into an alarming degree of
Elizabeth: I would institute some reasonable "limits". For example,
tell her that she has to pick one hair-do for the day and leave it that way. I
would not allow her to choose what clothes she wears everyday. Allow that only
occasionally. Don't let her play dress-up everyday, or change her clothes
multiple times a day. Get rid of the mirrors too. (I removed full-length mirrors
from my girls' rooms when they were small to prevent this type of thing. The
mirrors reappeared when they were in their late teens and they actually needed
While you are doing all this, be sure to guide her into godly attitudes about
appearance. Teach her with all diligence and sincerity, that although God made
many beautiful things, He loves inner beauty the most. Ask her if she thinks
that a pretty little girl who is sassing her mother still looks pretty. When you
see another nicely dressed child misbehaving, point this out and say, "That
little girl has a pretty dress, but you don't even notice it when she is acting
so awful. The way she is acting makes her look ugly, don�t you think?"
When you see a lovely smile, point that out and say, "Wasn't that lady at
the counter who helped us, beautiful? I didn't even notice her clothes, but she
had such a friendly warm smile it just made her look beautiful." And so on.
Teach, teach, teach. Instill values, then teach some more!
"But let him who boasts boast of this, that he
understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness,
justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,"
declares the LORD.
- Jeremiah 9:24
In the strictest definition of the word: �Wisdom beyond a child�s years,�
precociousness actually sounds like a thing to be desired. However, the common
usage of the word indicates the obnoxious �know-it-all� child that we all
would prefer to avoid. Precociousness is only cute to naive or proud parents who
are not looking toward the future consequences.
Have you been told you have a �precocious� child? If so, no matter how
kindly or with what degree of humor it was said, it should not be taken as a
compliment and it�s time to exam your parenting for flaws that may be
contributing to this very unattractive and damaging attribute.
Are you over-educating your child? Are you destroying his innocence and puffing
him up by teaching him things that should be held back until he is older? Being
a homeschooling parent myself, I know the joy of teaching and the temptation to
want to teach everything possible. But a wise parent will restrain herself from
teaching the wrong things, or things that should wait until the child becomes
older and more mature. A young child does not need to know all the medical
�facts of life�, for example. If an eight-year-old girl does not know all
the graphic details of the birthing process, she won�t be tempted to
inappropriately join into an adult conversation and start advising an expectant
mother on just how to �pant and blow�. If she has not been educated as to
every minute detail of breastfeeding, she won�t be tempted to instruct some
new mother on the proper way the get her baby to �latch-on�. Both of the
aforementioned examples will surely earn your child an uncomely reputation as a
�precocious� and perhaps even �obnoxious� child.
Even more important than what or how much you teach, is the attitude you convey
as you teach, and the perspective you teach your child in regard to learning.
Never give a child the impression that they know all there is to know on any
given subject. Be sure to repeatedly end your teaching sessions (whether they be
formal or informal) by making the child aware that there is much more to learn
about every subject, and whatever you just taught him is really only a drop in
the bucket. Continually impress upon him that others, particularly adults, know
far more than he does, and that he should feel honored when he has the
opportunity to learn from others.
Be sure that your children do not believe that they even know more than other
children do. Knowing more than others should not be their goal. There should be
no competition between themselves and others to accumulate more facts and head
knowledge. Their goal in acquiring knowledge should only be so that it might
enable them to serve God and others better. And be sure that both you and they
value wisdom of character far above head knowledge.
I recall, about 24 years ago, proudly showing my father how my first born son,
then only two years old, could read. Instead of giving him (and me) a pat on the
head and a �job well done�, my dad soberly advised, �Just don�t let him
think he�s too smart.� Humph. I was taken aback and admittedly even a bit
miffed by this. But upon reflection, I recognized the wisdom in what my father
had offered, and to this day I am very glad that I took it to heart. Do not let
your children think they are too smart.
...we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes
arrogant...If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he
ought to know.
- II Corinthians 8:1
Some believe that humility does not have to be taught in the home because the
harsh realities of life outside the home will teach it well enough. But does
�real life� always succeed in teaching humility? Obviously not. Many adults
are monsters of pride -- utterly devoid of humility, and living lives that
demonstrate it to all. Clearly, if humility is to be learned, it ought to be
taught early, when your child is still in the home.
Instilling the virtue of humility in your child cannot be accomplished in one
easy lesson. It requires constant, vigilant attention to be certain that this
spirit permeates your whole household and your entire way of life. Aside from
the practical hands-on aids to teaching humility mentioned in the above
paragraphs, one of the most effective avenues we can take toward this goal, is
to teach our children awe and reverence for God�s ways and works. It is
difficult to consider the unimaginable grandeur and expanse of the universe
without being struck by ones� own insignificance. It is difficult to ponder
the service of the saints throughout scriptures and history without being
brought low by our own lack of faith and modesty in comparison. It is impossible
to revere Christ, our great model for emulation, who throughout scripture was
presented as a humble servant, who, though King of Kings, disdained his rightful
glory for the humble life of a man, washed the feet of his friends, and died a
criminal�s death for our redemption, without it piercing our hearts and laying
bare our own unworthiness. What greater way to teach the preeminent virtue of
humility than to impress upon our children this picture and love, mercy and
For through the grace given to me I say to every man
among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think.
- Romans 12:3