by: Bette Owens
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
Someone said to me one day, “I have met several of your children and want to know how you were able to instill confidence in them?” As I thought about this I began to realize not only how important it is to have confidence, but to put our confidence in the right person or thing. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” (Proverbs 25:19). As parents we want our children to have confidence, but their confidence must be placed in the Lord. Confidence in the wrong thing can destroy us. First, we need to make sure that we as parents have our confidence in the right thing. We all like to say that our confidence is in God and we love the Bible and we live by It, but do we really? Do we follow that Book when it means being different, or do we waver and put our confidence in others and what they say and think? Are we confident in what God says, or do we make excuses for Him by saying such things as, “He doesn’t mean that” or “that was a long time ago, it is different now” or “God will understand”? Do we really believe the Bible in all areas or just concerning salvation? Is our confidence in God or man? This world has filled our minds with so much twisted thinking that we find it easy to shift our confidence away from God and put our confidence in man. Confidence in the wrong person or thing can have disastrous consequences.
Do we really even know what confidence is? We think if we feel good about ourselves and how well we look, we will be confident. We talk about self-esteem, but that is the world’s idea. There is only one thing that a Christian should be confident in and that is Jesus Christ. Real confidence comes from Him and having a relationship with Him.
What is confidence? Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something, it is firm trust; the state of feeling certain or comfortable about the truth of something. As we are raising our children, in whom or what are we teaching them to trust? Are we teaching them to trust in us, themselves, the world, our government, or the church? Are any of these really what any of us should have confidence in? By our example, what are our children being shown to have confidence in? Our children learn to trust what we trust.
We actually know that our confidence needs to be in Christ, but are we showing that and teaching that to our children? It is so easy to instill confidence in our children that is based on the physical, such as appearance, because that is human. From the time they are born we tell them they are cute, we tell them how special they are. We spend hours in front of the mirror trying to make us appear just perfect, but only five minutes in His Word so He can perfect us. There is nothing wrong with making our outside appearance presentable, but what are we teaching our children? They think our confidence is in our appearance, and maybe they are right. No wonder children from good Christian families grow up spending more time trying to look perfect to themselves and others, than they do to Jesus Christ. Teenagers get so discouraged because they aren’t as pretty or skinny as another teen, but don’t cry over their cold heart. I believe we need to teach our children to accept how God made them and use the abilities that God gave them for Him. Our confidence doesn’t come from, nor should it be placed in ourselves or our appearance, because appearance can and does change. The only true thing we can put our confidence in is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who never changes. How can we teach our children to have confidence in God? It starts by having our confidence placed in God. Confidence in ourselves will destroy us. If we as parents don’t put all of our confidence in the Lord, how can we expect to raise children with confidence in the Lord? We wonder why so many children in Christian homes don’t know what they believe and end up following the world. One reason is because as parents we have taught them by our lives to put their confidence everywhere but where it should be. Who cares how good a child can play baseball or football, or even how cute they look as a cheerleader? Because a child can accomplish these things means very little. Too often we are instilling in our children the attitude, “Look at me, look how good I am, look at my talent, look at my looks.” How sad! The attitude should be, “Look at the Lord!” I have met teenagers who were devastated because another person failed them, they were crushed. How sad that their confidence was in a person and not in the Lord because “Jesus never fails.”
We all have confidence in something, but it is putting our confidence in the Lord that gives us victory and boldness. In whom or what are you teaching your children to put their confidence? Our confidence should only be in Jesus Christ and His Word. In Proverbs 14:26 it says, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Raising children with confidence in the Lord is primary, and confidence not placed in the Lord will be very dangerous and destructive. Our confidence needs to come from Him and be placed in Him. Raising children with confidence comes from parents who have confidence in God and in everything the Bible teaches. Godly parents believe God’s Word and follow It with confidence. Parents, how confident are you in God?
Westside Baptist Church