Pride Problems (Lesson 12, pt.2 of I Am…So You Don’t Have to Be)

Pride?   Who, me?   Yeah, right.   If the truth be told, my toes are hurting from being stepped all over.  I am very proud of my marriage and our family.   People constantly tell us about the effectiveness of our skills and abilities, how wonderful our children are, what a lovely home/great life we have, and it is fantastic to receive such praise.   But I am well in touch with my darker side on this issue: my criticism of others, my over-confidence in my abilities (and consequent lack of dependence on God), and other horrid fruit that I could come up with given more time.


I thought just this morning about how good we have it.   On yesterday, my husband and another chaperone took a group of church youth on a field trip.   It was a bit of a 3-ring circus at the church as the practice for the children’s Christmas play also began on yesterday, and the volunteers for either event tried to discern which child was under their charge.   In either case, the scene was the same: parents, thrilled to have a babysitting opportunity, barely slowing down to let the kids out, and totally unwilling to do so much as budge from the car to sign a kid in or get details on pick-up time.   I didn’t even mention the sheer aversion to volunteering in the first place.


So as he and I talked on last night about the state of modern-day parenting (or lack thereof), I felt that same spirit rise up again.   I grew proud of the fact that we don’t push our children off, but instead probably keep them with us too much—date nights are far and few between around here.  There was a time when I would have gone on and on about the immaturity of some parents, rushing into a decision to have children, but then not wanting to spend any time with them.   But I’m growing in some things, too—an understanding of grace and mercy.


When we began homeschooling, I prayed, but deep down, I was very confident that with two parents with advanced degrees and two very bright kids, education at home would be a breeze.   Though “breeze” would be an overstatement, it hasn’t been tough.   Yet, I remember coming to some significant “air pockets” in what I thought would be smooth sailing.  My daughter’s A’s weren’t a true reflection of what she actually learned; educating a wholehearted child involves far more gray matter than simply buying a book and instructing your kids to complete a page per day.   Finally, trying to work with a preteen while keeping a toddler constructively occupied takes skills that I didn’t learn in business school.   So, over the years, I’ve come running to God in prayer more and more as the gravity of what we’ve set out to do sinks in.   I have to also add that this Bible study has been revealing for me as well as it forces me to confront how much I’ve tried to do in my own strength instead of relying on Him.


It seems as if almost weekly we’re reunited with some long-lost acquaintance who informs us of his/her recent divorce.   Though not quite as frequently, we’ve had several young teens in our midst to become pregnant without being married.   We know a few people whose lives have been destroyed by drug and/or alcohol abuse, and we’ve been to more funerals for people who’ve seemingly not hit their prime than I care to remember.   It would be easy to look at the life I live and be full of pride.   But this former Wonders Junkie is often reminded that the most spectacular miracle I see each day is the five of us, alive and healthy, with little to no day-to-day drama.  Praise God.

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7 thoughts on “Pride Problems (Lesson 12, pt.2 of I Am…So You Don’t Have to Be)

  1. I have to admit, I could have written this. It is easy to look at my successes and think, "Hey now." But then I'm humbly reminded that I'm but a meer vapor!–YIKES! Thanks for sharing. My advance degree is in early childhood education, and I was not prepared to teach school age children with babies and toddlers running around everywhere. I can relate! I know I must rely on the Father much more than I have been!!!!!!

  2. You answer these soooo amazingly well and richly! I always love reading what you've shared! I also really loved the prayers you shared on my blog~thank you! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  3. Pride is such a difficult subject to tackle. I struggle with this as well. I believe part of it is I remember where I came from, and what I have accomplished in Christ so overshadows my past.

    Our Bible study used the term Pride and Joy the other day and I knew it would create conflict, so I came prepared. And as I suspected, Pride was attacked and made to be a sinful thing (thanks to satan) but the study presented it in a good light and even when it tried to direct you to focus on the joy part, the misunderstanding in that room could be cut with a knife. I was so glad I brought the definition from Webster's 1828 Dictionary!
    This is what it says…

    1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

    Martial pride looks down on industry.

    Pride goeth before destruction. Prov.16.

    Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt.

    All pride is abject and mean.

    Those that walk in pride he is able to abase. Dan.4.

    2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.

    That hardly we escap'd the pride of France.

    3. Generous elation of heart; a noble self-esteem springing from a consciousness of worth.

    The honest pride of conscious virtue.

    4. Elevation; loftiness.

    A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place.

    5. Decoration; ornament; beauty displayed.

    Whose lofty trees, clad with summer's pride.

    Be his this sword

    Whose ivory sheath, inwrought with curious pride,

    Adds graceful terror to the wearer's side.

    6. Splendid show; ostentation.

    Is this array, the war of either side

    Through Athens pass'd with military pride.

    7. That of which men are proud; that which excites boasting.

    I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. Zech.9. Zeph.3.

    8. Excitement of the sexual appetite in a female beast.

    9. Proud persons. Ps.36.

    I think most often we confuse #3 with # 9 and #2.

    I have missed you too.
    I am way too busy. This weekend was my daughter's Anniversary so we had all six kids for two days. And yesteday was catching up around the house.

    Sorry you only saw half the pictures. I hope it was the good Half. (:

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  4. I see the heart of me in your words. Though God's grace abounds to me, I lack in giving it in my judgmental attitudes. It stinks when you can look into your own heart and see it for what it is, ya know? "Desperately wicked" and "deceitful above all," right? But in the end, we just praise God for giving us yet another day/chance to get it right. Thanks be to God for HIS graces.

    Many blessings,

  5. I am so guilty of trying to do it on my own.
    I know i can't, at least not really well and not to His glory for certain, yet i find myself skimming through the days without turning to Him.

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

I'd love to hear your two cents!!