This is such wise parenting insights from a biblical counselor and speaker, Paul Tripp.
“It’s hard to admit your need of help. It’s hard to admit that there are things you do not know and do not understand. It’s hard to admit that there are things that you cannot do. It’s hard to reach out and cry out for help. It’s hard to confess to weakness and ignorance. It’s hard to have to depend on another for what you think you should be able to supply for yourself. It’s hard to talk about what you do not know and what you cannot do. It’s difficult to admit to poor judgment and wrong responses. It’s hard to receive correction and to confess to sin.
Why are these things so hard? Because we all like to buy into two very seductive lies. These lies argue against any need to be dependent and they bolster the independence that tends to attract us all. The first lie is the lie of AUTONOMY. Autonomy tells me that I am an independent being, with the right to do what I want to do, when, where, and how I want to do it. Now you may say, “Paul, I know well enough not to believe that!” Yet, every time you defend yourself against the correction of another or tell someone not to tell you what to do, you buy into this lie. The second lie is the lie of SELF-SUFFICIENCY. This lie tells me I have everything within myself to be what I am supposed to be and to do what I am supposed to do. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Okay, I do occasionally buy into my autonomy, but I definitely don’t think I’m self-sufficient!” Yet, each time you resist reaching out for help or each time you act like you’re okay when, in fact, you’re not, you have bought into this lie.
Why are these two lies so wrong and so dangerous? Because the Bible clearly tells us that we are people who have been made for COMMUNITY. We were designed to live in worshipful community with God and humble community with people. We were never constructed to live all by ourselves. Even Adam and Eve needed God and one another. Think about this. They were perfect people, living in a perfect world, yet they were still needy because they were not created to live life on their own.
Remember, there are few people more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do. You spend each day in constant comversation with you! And the things that you tell yourself shape what you do and say each day. Do you constantly remind yourself of your need of God and others.? Do you tell yourself that it is good to admit weakness and to reach out for help? If you do, it is not a sign that something is wrong. No, by God’s definition, that kind of self-talk is a sign that something is very right.
How about beginning to pray these three prayers every morning:
1. “Lord, I am a person in desperate need of help today.”
2. “Lord, won’t you, in your grace, send your helpers my way.”
3. “And please give me the humility to receive the help when it come.”
Are you intimidated by your weaknesses? Are you afraid to bare your needs to God and others? Don’t forget that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came so that we would be able to experience both peace with God and with others. He came so that we would no longer have to seduce ourselves with the delusions of autonomy and self-sufficiency. He came so that we could be the kind of people we were created to be, living in humble worship of him and humble dependency on others, right here, right now.”
If we shouldn’t be thinking of ourselves as autonomous, self-sufficient, and independent, then why do we raise our kids to think that they are? Should we really be encouraging these traits in them as youngsters only to have to try and root it out of them later as teenagers? Under the banner of “self-esteem,” our western culture has made these character traits seem glorious. However, as usual, the Bible paints a different picture. Oh, that we would be willing (as parents) to not only view ourselves as humble, dependent creatures in need of God and others, but that we would show our children their need to rightly view themselves as such also.