There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filth. There is a generation--how haughty its eyes and pretentious its looks. There is a generation whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, devouring the oppressed from the land and the needy from among mankind. - Proverbs 30:11-14 HCSB

Every sin can be traced back to pride. Every good trait is founded in humility. God resists the proud and draws near to the humble. How much more do we need to know before we realize the importance of raising humble obedient children?

Humility is a habit. It must be reinforced constantly to be truly effective. Take every opportunity to point out the positive results of humility and the negative consequences of pride to your children.

Teach them to empathize. When they are hurt by the thoughtless and casual cruelty of other children, make a point of getting them to remember what that felt like so they won’t do the same thing to others. If you see someone bragging, point out how others feel about it. If you see a child being mocked for their appearance or poverty, make sure you talk about how that child must feel and what that mockery is doing the heart of the perpetrator. Tell them what the long-term results of that hardening may be.

Make them be courteous. Teach them to say “please” and “thank you.” Do not allow them to thoughtlessly get in the way or make others have to look around them. They must not develop the mental habit of thinking that the world revolves around them. Allowing them to be self-centered is not the path to humility.

Make them apologize for bad behavior. Apologizing is not demeaning. It is honest. They are admitting where they went wrong and this allows them to correct their behavior so that they can do better in the future. The negative feelings they experience (i.e. embarrassment, shame, sorrow or grief) will help them remember the experience and seek to avoid it.

Teach them to serve. Help them identify a personal strength and encourage them to submit that strength to the use of others. If they excel in something, get them to come alongside a child that does not and try to help that child improve. Not only does this teach them that great gifts come with great responsibility, it actually improves their gift as they seek to understand how to communicate it to others.

Ultimately though, the most critical lesson is to submit to the lesson of “to whom much is given much is required.” Just as they should be taught to improve their skills, they should be taught to take care of their toys, their clothes and their rooms. At this stage of their lives, these things are their resources and someday the Master will want to know what they did with them.