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All Christian parents want to instill a sense of humility in their children. Although there are many great ways of teaching humility to children, it’s important to remember that God wants parents to rely on Him. As long as a parent has been a good example, and as long as the children are being taught to depend on God, God holds that child’s heart in the palm of His hand. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
In Romans 12:3, Paul writes, “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.” Humility is best described as appropriate thinking about oneself. Humility is the opposite of pride, which is inappropriate thinking about oneself. When a Christian demonstrates a prideful attitude, he is taking credit for his actions, leaving no credit for them whatsoever to the Lord. Humility does just the opposite. Humility acknowledges the fact that a person is willing and capable to achieve a goal, however, glory for that achievement is given to God. Humility is an important lesson for all children to learn, and it’s up to the parents to begin these lessons at an early age, right in the home.
Activities to Teach a Child Humility
There are many activities parents can take part in one-on-one with their children, or as a family that will reinforce how important humility is. Books are great tool for teaching humility to children. All kids love to read, and in most cases, it’s easy for kids to apply lessons from stories to their own lives. In addition to stories from the Bible, books like The Tower: A Story of Humility
Visual examples are also good tools parents can use in teaching humility to children. Kids learn very well when they can see a picture or a word. For older kids, parents can write the word “Humility” on a large piece of paper and hang it on the wall. Kids can brainstorm about situations in their lives when lessons in humility would be useful. For younger kids, parents can have them draw a picture of a tree and explain how the tree represents them, and the type of fruit on the tree represents their actions. A discussion about good fruit and bad fruit will help kids understand the type of actions they want to try to exhibit in their own lives.
Examples of Humility from Everyday Life
Pride is a behavior that’s easy to slip into without realizing it. In teaching humility to children, parents will want to remind the kids that some of the thoughts they have are habitual, and it takes time to break these habits. Children should be encouraged to seek God’s forgiveness whenever they’ve done something wrong. A few examples of how kids can remember to be humble in their everyday lives are:
- Not honoring God when they are complimented
- Taking on challenges without asking God to guide them or help them
- Making decisions without asking God for wisdom
- Trusting in their own abilities
In teaching children humility, parents should also remember to adhere to these principles for their own lives. After all, children are constantly looking to their parents to find out how to handle certain situations. A child who sees his parents turn to the Lord for guidance or to give praise, will do the same in his own life.
Jesus: the Best Example of Humility
The best example of humility is, of course, seen in the life of Jesus. In Matthew 23:12, Jesus says, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” A beautiful example of Jesus demonstrating humility is seen in John 13, when He washed the disciples’ feet just before the Passover. In those days, servants washed feet. Jesus performed this action to show His desire to serve those He loved.
Jesus’ lived His life giving glory for everything He did to God the Father. However, even more than that, Jesus was completely God, and He lowered Himself to become a human being. Philippians 2:8 says, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”
Jesus came to the earth to save people from their sins. He knew He would have to die on the cross as a human being in order to do that. In doing so, He gave up everything in heaven to walk among people and die a human death. His entire life is a great example of how important it is for children to be sure they don’t become prideful and to walk in obedience to Jesus every day.
You may also like to read: How to teach children good values using Bible stories?