Raising Confident Children

Posted on May 2, 2013 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Confidence comes from not trusting yourself. That is not a popular thought but it is a true one. Having confidence in what you have been taught is different than trusting yourself.  Your children, by God’s grace, have much too unlearn.  A quick look at Galatians 5:19-21 should settle this issue. 

 

Proverbs 3:5&6 is a familiar passage that warns against trusting yourself and your own understanding. Verse six links trusting God with acknowledging God in every thing you do. Here are the verses:

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.

 

In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

 

The depth of the word translated acknowledge is lost in many translations. One respected commentator translates verse 6 this way:

 

in all your ways desire his presence,

and he will make your paths straight and smooth.

 

Note that desiring his presence is the replacement for acknowledge. The root word here in the Hebrew is the same word that is translated to know, as in sexual intimacy. In Hosea, Israel is chastised for knowing foreign gods instead of Yahweh. Desiring God’s presence in all that one might do is a rich, intimate desire. This covers going to sleep, getting up in the morning, walking along the road, playing sports, having fun with friends and even on into marriage by desiring God’s presence in sexual relations.

 

With this understanding it becomes clear how desiring the presence of God equates to trusting God with all your heart. Biblical confidence thus flows from desiring the presence of God in all that is done. If this desire is not there, then there is a great probability that one is leaning on his own understanding!

 

So what at first appears to be a complex topic distills down to one that is straightforward. If the presence of God is not intimately desired expect a bumpy road ahead. 

 

Teach this to your children as you practice the truth of the Proverbs in your own life. Eagerly desire his presence in all you do. This experience will stretch and reshape your world. This will make for great conversations with your kids!

 

Desiring the presence of God will produce confidence that leads to intimate trust of God. There is no better place be!

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.