by Linsey Driskill
“How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God.” Jesus (John 5:44)
We all know our children will interact with all kinds of people: some wonderful, some harsh. I pray my daughters and son are confident so they know how to stand strong and not give into peer pressure. I want to equip them the best I can. Jesus always spoke truth to people and didn’t worry about man’s approval. He loved the outcasts, overturned tables in the temple, stayed focus on God’s will regardless of the harshness around him, and never wavered in his faith, confidence and purpose. In Luke 9:5, He said, “If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet…” Jesus simply didn’t care what others thought of Him. He was the greatest example of being humble, yet confident.
What will our kids do when others try to sway or intimidate them? Will they be brave and confident? Will they have boundaries?
~ Esther stood up to Hamaan, and saved the Jewish people;
~ Naomi urged Ruth to leave, but Ruth had the confidence to stay. From that one choice, Ruth married Boaz and Jesus came from their lineage;
~ David did not turn away from a bully intimidating him- he confidently proclaimed that he came in the Name of the Lord and overtook him;
~ Deborah defeated the evil Sisera because she chose not to run away from a scary, unknown situation, but to bravely trust God;
~ The crippled woman staggered to the front of the synagogue while Jesus preached, ignoring the critics and traditions… she was healed by Jesus;
~ Jesus’ disciples chose to follow Him, and they became bearers of the greatest Truth ever told.
~ And what about Mary being pregnant with Jesus when she was only engaged? Mary was fearful at first, but chose not to cave into the opinions of others. And, through Mary, our Savior Jesus came into the world.
Along with Mary being afraid, I assume the others had a similar fear, but they made a choice to trust God and be brave. Being brave doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid- it means walking forward in faith. Do we want fear or bravery to drive our kids’ choices? Do we want them to have courage to stand out from the crowd and to follow Jesus? If so, let’s instill the truth in our kids that our confidence comes from God, not others. Our kids will learn that their worth is not dictated by others’ opinions, but on the immense love Jesus has for each of them. A great verse to impress on the hearts of our kiddos: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7