One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

A Scriptural response to their accomplishments

Mishle (Proverbs) 27:11
     My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
     That I may answer him that reproaches me.

Satan has a bill of goods for sale concerning one’s children. Sadly, all too often, we as parents buy the whole bill of lading. The most common reason this happens is because we are taught incorrectly or not taught at all about what the proper response to our children should be according to Scripture.

It is common within Christianity to find the idea of a good kind of pride. This kind of pride supposedly stands in contrast to the sinful kind of pride. We are often told that one should take pride in one’s country, or in his home church, or in his children and this is not sin, but something that one should actually be doing. However, we have written before on the matter of pride and have shown that all pride is sinful, regardless of the reason. Please see the links to two separate studies for a fuller treatment of pride. In this study we shall focus upon our children and what a parent’s proper response should be according to Scripture.

It has been my observation that part of the problem here consists of several things. One of the things that causes a problem is not properly identifying how one is feeling towards his child when the child does something noteworthy. Since one is often told through teaching, but even more often through example, that pride in one’s child is proper, one’s feelings at such a time are often mislabeled and never given another thought about it.

Recently, two of my sons graduated from college together. The feelings I was experiencing were quite overwhelming. However, I knew that none of these feelings were pride, but rather, they were feelings of great joy and blessing. YHWH had truly blessed me with very fine sons and I was filled with feelings of joy, happiness, and especially thankfulness towards our heavenly Father for these two blessings called my sons. I expressed this to both of them, but I never said I was proud of them. Doing so would have been sinful. Furthermore, it would have taught them by example to do wrong instead of giving glory to YHWH.

Another problem is simply following the crowd. Nearly every parent we know says they are proud of their children; why shouldn’t we be proud of our children, also? Good question, even though it is based on fallacious reasoning. If everyone you knew was jumping off a cliff, you would do that as well? How silly is that!

YHWH does not want His people to follow the crowd, even if that crowd consists of people who claim to follow Him. He wants us to follow Him and His ways. This is going to take effort, which brings us to another cause of why parents become proud of their children - laziness. It is really easy to simply state that one is proud of his son. This takes almost no effort. After all, we hear so many other parents saying it. Even if one feels the prick of the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) when this is done, he often will not investigate the matter to see why he felt a prick. After a while, he grows dull to those pricks and does not feel them any longer. Rather than being mindful towards the guidance of His Spirit, one is often lazy. Remember, we are dealing with the relationship between a parent and a child here. Particularly, should one be full of pride for his child or not?

Another cause of pride in a parent for his children is he fails to see the temptation for what it really is, that being a temptation to comment a sin. Please consider the following passage of Scripture.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 48:11
“For mine own sake, for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should My name be profaned? and My glory I will not give to another.”

YHWH clearly states that He will not give His glory to another. Yet, this is exactly what a person attempts to do when he accepts feelings of pride. When a parent states he is proud of his child, He is giving glory to someone else other than YHWH, and that is sin. One of the challenges in this life is to live in such a way as to consistently give glory to YHWH for all things and to acknowledge Him as the source of all things. This is especially true of one’s children. Are not children a blessing from YHWH? To be sure!

Tehillim (Psalm) 127:3
     Behold, children are a heritage of YHWH;
     And the fruit of the womb is His reward.

Not only are the children a blessing from YHWH, but all their talents and abilities are gifts from YHWH as well. Considering these truths, should not a parent teach his children these things as well, especially to give glory to YHWH for the things he accomplishes? To be sure! There is no room for pride.

Sadly, almost no one sees the feelings of pride in his children for the temptation that it truly is. Furthermore, this applies to all feelings of pride, regardless of what that pride is directed at or being caused by. It is a temptation to sin against YHWH by stealing His glory, glory that belongs only to Him.

It will take some time in order to retrain oneself on how to speak to his children and how to think in a manner which gives rise to actions which are pleasing to YHWH. But it is something that must be done if one is going to be serious about following YHWH and training his children to do the same.

Considering all these causes then, one simply does not know how to respond properly to his children when they accomplish something. Therefore, let us briefly examine a few passages of Scripture to see what it has to teach in this matter.

Mishle (Proverbs) 10:1
     The proverbs of Solomon.
     A wise son makes a glad father;
     But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Mishle (Proverbs) 15:20
     A wise son makes a glad father;
     But a foolish man despises his mother.

Mishle (Proverbs) 23:15-16
     15 My son, if your heart be wise,
     My heart will be glad, even mine:
     16 Yea, my heart will rejoice,
     When your lips speak right things.

Mishle (Proverbs) 23:24-25
     24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
     And he that begat a wise child will have joy of him.
     25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
     And let her that bore you rejoice.

Please note that this passage of Scripture teaches us that when our child does something noteworthy, it this should bring gladness and joy to us, not pride! When our children show wisdom, then this gives us something to show to those who are full of pride. For it is the one who is full of pride who reproaches us!

When one of our children does something good, right, and wonderful, then we should teach them to give praise to YHWH for giving them the ability to do what they have done. In this way we are teaching them not to be full of pride, for in reality they have nothing of which to be proud! It also teaches them to be children of our heavenly Father, singing His praises and exalting Him at all times and for all things!

In each one of these passages we learn that we are to be joyful and glad, but we are not to be proud.

Yochanan Bet (2nd John) 1:4
I rejoice greatly that I have found certain of your children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father.

Finally, Yochanan shows that this principle is not only to be found within a family unit, that is, between a parent and a child, but also within the family of Elohim between His children. We are not to be proud of one another, but to walk in all humility acknowledging the presence of the Almighty in our daily lives, giving Him all the glory as He gives us ample reason to rejoice and be glad in our daily living.

Brothers and sisters, this is not just a matter of semantics. This is a matter of the heart. What will you choose to do? Will you choose to continue on in your pride? Or, will you humble yourself before YHWH and before all men so that He may bless you with His richest blessings?

It is your choice; you may choose to walk in sin or choose to walk in righteousness. Choose righteousness.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah