“…for the LORD will be your confidence and your foot will not stumble” (Proverbs 3:26)
I spent last evening at the Alabama Theater watching Hoover High School’s 2012 Beauty Walk. It was only the second time I’ve ever been there. On both occasions, it was a result of my daughter Kristin’s involvement in an activity. The first time, she was participating in a dance recital as a first grader. Last night, as a high school senior, she was a contestant in the Beauty Walk. As I watched, I couldn’t help but reflect on the two occasions of my being in this venue. The first time, I remember hoping she would just move when it was her groups turn to dance. Last night, as she glided across the stage, she was no longer a little girl, but a beautiful young woman. These years have really gone quickly. Probably like many parents, times like these make me think about all the activities we put our children in, wondering of their value. I know for Kristin to get exposure to things such as this event does help build her confidence as she prepares for her future. But my hope for Kristin, as her father, is that she will draw her confidence from a greater source.
“…for the LORD will be your confidence and your foot will not stumble” A primary theme of the book of Proverbs is wisdom, challenging the reader to seek God’s wisdom. Proverbs 3:26 in particular advises that we put our trust in the LORD to see us through life’s challenges. In this world, there will be many. As such, we should seek God’s wisdom first. In some ways, I’ve spent much of these 17 years afraid of Kristin, and for that matter, Logan as well. Afraid that in an attempt to balance the right amount of “push” in order to help them to a better future; I might be hurting their confidence along the way. This is a difficult task as a parent; you love them so much, in many cases you have been where they are, and all you want is for them to avoid your mistakes. Yet all the while, you know they are young and fragile, and you’re trying your best not to do something wrong. The truth is; you can’t avoid doing something wrong, particularly when using your own wisdom and not God’s. Human wisdom is always distinct from God’s wisdom. We can, however, take great comfort because there is an answer to this dilemma we face as parents. That answer is to seek God’s wisdom and to teach our children that true confidence is only to be found in Him. It is for you, as a parent, to demonstrate your confidence in Him and thereby give testimony to its truth. All of these other ways of building our children’s confidence, though perhaps useful, are secondary. Kristin didn’t win Beauty Walk, but it really wouldn’t have mattered if she had if she lacks confidence in the LORD. He is the only one who is faithful and true. He is also the one who loves her the most. That will always be enough. It is in having confidence in these truths, that I hope Kristin, “my” beauty, walks.
Father God, thank you for the gift of children. Thank you for your forgiveness when we parent them apart from your wisdom. Help us as parents to seek your guidance more each day in order to serve our role in preparing our children for what lies ahead. But more than that, let us be an example to our children that you are our confidence and that they can trust you to be theirs as well. No one loves like the Heavenly Father loves. Thank you for showing us and our children that love. Amen!