It’s strange to me that I’m often invited to speak in front of groups. I’m always a bit nervous, a bit excited, but mostly I’m amazed. First, I’m amazed because people want to hear what I think, what’s in my heart. I’m also amazed because I have something to say.
Years ago I would have never believed where I am now. I was as low as I could get. I was in a dark place. When I tried to control my life, I made every mistake imaginable.
As a teenager I rebelled and I followed “pleasure” instead of God. At fifteen years old, I found myself pregnant and had an abortion. At seventeen, I dropped out of high school and had my son, but in the middle of the dropping out and having the baby I accepted God’s leadership over my life . . . and my life has never been the same.
I love what Luke 1:52 says, “He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.”
There is no explanation for the fact that I’ve been able to write thirty-five books, or speak on television programs, or even share my heart with you today. No explanation except God. I saw what a mess I got myself into. I felt the pain and the shame, and I’ve been amazed what God has chosen to do with my life . . . and as a result my children’s lives. My co-authors and I talk about breaking the sin cycle in our book Lead Your Family like Jesus (Focus on the Family/Tyndale):
Time to Break the Cycle
When we turn from Jesus’ humble example and Edge God Out, the trickle-down effect on our children is profound. When pride and fear take possession of our hearts, the damage to our kids is long-lasting and far-reaching. In fact, walking away from God has been the root of dysfunction in families since the beginning of time.
Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. When they succumbed to the temptations of pride and fear, they ended up hiding in the bushes. Their firstborn child, Cain, also took matters into his own hands and killed his younger brother, Abel, in a fit of prideful anger.
… Prideful or fear-filled parents tend to be quick to judge, quick to take offense, quick to speak, and quick to push blame away and pull praise closer. They embrace what looks good in their eyes—even when, deep down, they know it’s not right.
Imagine the peace in a home where humble parents, following the example of Jesus, taking this advice to heart:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Edging God Out not only affects current family relationships and the character of the next generation, it will also influence generations to come. The Bible tells us that the sins of the fathers will be carried to the third and fourth generation. That’s why it’s important for parents to imitate the humility of Jesus—and break the chain.
I love today’s Scripture passage that talks about this very thing: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” Luke 14:11.
Our natural tendency is to control our lives and to make sure no one takes advantage of us or hurts us. Yet when we follow the example of Jesus, humble ourselves, and be slow to speak or to get angry, then we are modeling an example for our kids that they’ll learn to live by—after all, kids live what they see.
Are you willing to get on your knees before God and relinquish every part, EVERY part, of your life to Him? I guarantee you will not be disappointed by His plans for you. I also guarantee it’s only as you walk in humility and submission will you be the servant leader your children will benefit from following.
By the way, now through May 5, Lead Your Family Like Jesus is available for $1.99 digital download! Order your copy here!