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Riding the Brakes

Read James 4:6.

I see parents all the time who are working very hard to correct their children, but they don’t realize it doesn’t have to be so hard. If they would invest more time in building a relationship—hit the gas a little harder—they would discover it’s much easier to steer.

That analogy poses the question: What gets in the way of building a relationship? Sometimes we blame our lack of time, because we’re just too busy. In the analogy, that’s like running out of gas. Other times we blame our children’s stubbornness. They don’t want a relationship with us and push us away. That’s like having a flat tire. We’re not going anywhere until we pull off to the side of our paths and change an attitude or two.

Both our lack of time and their stubbornness can be factors in why the relationship isn’t gaining much acceleration. However, I’d like to suggest another reason, one I think is actually much more common than we recognize. Many parents are riding down the road with one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brake. And the name of that brake pedal is pride.

Three times in God’s Word, pride is linked to resistance. Peter and James both tell us, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The writer of Proverbs says, “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.” I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that if God says something three times, it must be really important to Him. Here’s my paraphrase: in a relationship with God, humility hits the gas and pride hits the brakes.

God warns us repeatedly about pride because it destroys our relationship with Him. God does not want your life to implode into self-centeredness like a black hole that collapses into nothingness under its own gravity. But it’s pretty hard to worship your Creator when you are High Priest of My Way in the Temple of Me.

*Do you see pride or selfishness in your own life that is affecting or being picked up on by your child?

"How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps" is drawn from How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps: Tame Your Vices, Nurture Their Virtues by Patrick Quinn and Ken Roach. Copyright 2015 by David C Cook; all rights reserved.

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