Mom, do you have an EGO problem? If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have brushed your question away. First, because I know how often I fail as a mom. I can't have too much pride considering all the mistakes I make . . . right?
But then I started working with Ken Blanchard (NY Times best-selling author of dozens of business books) and Phil Hodges (co-founder of the Lead Like Jesus organization). From them I learned that EGO is anytime we Edge God Out of our thoughts, our plans, our days—our mothering. We are basically saying, “Don't worry, God, I've got this one.”
You'd think we'd know better. Jesus was the Son of God, yet He never Edged God Out!
Jesus repeatedly affirmed whose He was and who He was. He determined that He would live by the mission His father had given Him for the accomplishment of His Father’s purpose. Jesus could have been prideful; He was the Son of God. He could have been fearful; all the powers of darkness were against Him. Instead, in all these situations, Jesus chose the will of His Father. He chose to lead by serving.
The Son of God doesn’t have an EGO problem. Too often we do—suspecting we don’t have all the answers as parents, but not wanting anyone—even God—to tell us what to do or how to live.
EGO usually comes from pride—when we see our kids doing something great. It also comes from fear—when we worry our kids can't keep up.
What can we do about our EGO problem and the resulting bad decisions that can harm our families?
Here are a few ideas. (There are additional ideas in our book!)
1. Identify times when pride and fear are likely to pop up. Both can stem from comparison; we’re either comparing our kids to other kids, or comparing ourselves to other parents. Sometimes we even compare our “real selves” with the ideal person we want to be.
2. Think ahead to upcoming events that may bring out pride or fear. Think through how you’ll handle each situation by trusting God.
Here’s an example: the parent-teacher conference.
You may find yourself fearing your child isn’t up to the level of other kids. Or you may find out your child is a top student—inflating your pride. Instead of attending with the possibility of either emotion taking the front seat, go expecting that your child will have areas that need improvement. Go with an open heart, willing to learn and grow as a parent.
How about other situations that might bring fear? Here are a few more:
• The playground, where your toddler can’t keep up with the other kids
• The soccer game, where your son or daughter sits on the bench more than he or she plays
• The clinic, where the doctor is concerned about developmental delays
On the flip side, when are you most likely to be prideful? Consider your response to the following:
• When your child gets the best math score in class
• When his teammates always look to him to score the most goals
• When she’s the talk of the talent show
Each of these opportunities are moments to turn to God for wisdom and strength. He can help you focus on Him—and what’s best for your child—without your emotions taking the front seat. If possible, turn to your spouse to talk through, and pray about, your pride and fear. What might usually cause you to pull away from your spouse or child could be God’s way of bringing you together!
Mom, take your free EGO assessment here: http://leadyourfamilybook.com/
Also consider ordering your own copy of Lead Your Family Like Jesus to help you be a better parent-leader!
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