There's no greater time to be a sinner. You're one click away from more than your father ever had to deal with. The world is there for the taking. There's also no greater time to be a godly dad. Sure, sin lurks around every corner. But, wherever darkness is, God's grace is there too.
Let's look at the deadly sin of pride. If you're like many dads we talk to, you’re struggling to connect with your child. Could it be that your heart issue is not some generational gap, but the sin of pride? In this post, we'll examine what the sin is, how it plays out in your life as a dad and how to eliminate it from your life.
I beg you. Don't read this post and think of others who exhibit pride. That's too easy. Read this post and pray to God for areas where He might reveal to you where you're displaying this sin in your life. Then, my hope is that you'll find the strategies, Scripture and prayer as help to combat the sin in your life.
We wrote 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad eBook for a reason. There's a lot to say about each sin. You can see the introduction blog post about the 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad as an example. Now, let's talk about pride.
What is pride?
The dictionary definition of pride is the feeling of deep pleasure derived from one's own achievements. Doesn’t sound horrible, does it? But pride is often called the “essence of all sin.” In one sense, there is one sin—and that sin is pride. We sin, ultimately, when we are not fully relying on God.
In the Book of Matthew, we see an example of pride in the Pharisees. They were self-righteous (Matt. 6:1–2). Jesus tells them, "You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every impurity" (23:27). Their goal was to impress others by external materials and performance.
But one person they didn't impress—Jesus. He called them "blind guides" saying, "if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit" (15:14). Go ahead and apply this to your father-son relationship. Roland Warren, former president of National Fatherhood Initiative and now CEO of Care Net says, "It's difficult to be what you don't see."
Are you faking the Christian life? Is your child seeing the authentic Christian life when he sees you? May we model authenticity in our homes instead of perfection. May we care more about our hearts than appearances. May we care more about what God thinks than seeking to impress others.
How does pride show up in a dad’s life?
The disengaged dad says: “I have the power and I’m in control.”
The sin of pride shows up most clearly in the lies us dads tell ourselves. We discussed this a lot at Manhood Journey. We talk about the four manhood myths we must stop teaching our sons. Not only did we write a blog post about it. We created an entire Bible study called Manhood Myths you and your son (or a group of dads and sons) can discuss. We lie to our sons and ourselves and will not grow into authentic, godly men if we don’t address the sin of pride.
Pride has us not being honest about our own failures. Pride has us not connecting or speaking up in a small-group setting at church. Pride has us focused on self instead of others. Pride, unchecked, will have you not in God’s Word. Pride will have you not relying on God in prayer. Pride will have you not seeking wise counsel.
The disengaged dad says:
“I have the power and I’m in control.”
How can a dad eliminate the sin of pride?
You combat pride with humility. While pride is opposition to God, humility is dependence on God. Proverbs 11:2 says: “When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.” The Apostle Peter answers the question: how can you be humble? Answer: by “...casting all of your care on Him...” in 1 Peter 5:7.
Pride is stubborn. It’s thinking we can carry our own burdens. That we can be God. Humility is depending on God. Some think the opposite of pride is to poke fun at yourself or talk down about yourself. C. S. Lewis clears this up by writing, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”
If we depend on God, we find humility instead of pride. Imagine caring more about what God thinks than about what we think of our selves or what other people might think of us. Imagine what might happen if—in our social-media-centered culture we posted in such a way that we weren’t the center of attention?
Dad, you can take the lead in combating pride in your home. The godly husband and father knows how to live humbly depending on God with his wife and kids. In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul said, "Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of the others” (Phil. 2:3-4). Let's model this type of biblical manhood to our wife and kids.
As we put off the sin of pride, let’s put on humility.
Scripture for eliminating pride
- Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble than to divide plunder with the proud. —Proverbs 16:18-19
- For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted. —Luke 14:11
- And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. —1 Peter 5:5-7
Prayer for eliminating pride
God, give me grace to be humble in all things. Please, help me see pride show itself in my life and eliminate it. I don’t want to lead my family from an example of pride. I want my wife and kids to see a humble leader—a leader who points to you—in all things. Amen.
All sin kills something. So, recognize the deadly sin of pride. Fight pride in your heart. Fight pride in your home. Be the example that maybe you didn’t have growing up. For the sin of pride, we’ve covered what the sin is, what it looks like and how to eliminate it from your life.
We dig deeper into the 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad in the full eBook.
For each sin, we help you:
- Define the sin.
- Recognize how the sin plays out in your life as a dad.
- Give strategies for eliminating the sin.
- Remember Scriptures to combat the sin.
- Learn a prayer you can memorize if you struggle with the sin.
- Ask self-reflection questions as you consider these sins in your life.
- Use an engaging infographic as a reference for fighting these sins.
The deadly sin of pride is there for the taking. But, so is God’s grace. You can be a godly father who leads without regrets.
Question > On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being, “Always thinking of others.” and 10 being, “I don’t even know others are there.” Where would you rank yourself? If you need to talk, you can email me or tweet @ManhoodJourney.
This post is part of an ongoing series based on our full eBook 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad.