I’m writing my second blog from a hotel room in Lynchburg, Virginia where we dropped our oldest daughter off 2 months ago for college. That’s another blog in itself for another time! After seeing her last night for the first time since then, God has drilled some things into my heart. Today, we took a hike up a mountain as a family, something we never did in Florida for many reasons. It’s flat and… well that’s it really. It was incredible, one of the best days of my life. We walked and laughed as she led the way, confessing that she really didn’t know where we were. We were never in any real danger, as I could see the real path through the trees (there’s a potential future God-analogy blog there too). But it was fun, exciting, different and FREE!

As I watched her and my other daughter leading the way (sort of), I just felt the pride overwhelming my heart as a parent. Pride in the school she’s going to? No, even though it’s a great one. Pride in their grades? Nope. Pride in how many accomplishments they’ve had, how many awards they’ve won? That wasn’t it either. Maybe it’s how well liked they are or how they have never been in any real trouble? Maybe it’s pride in the clubs they’ve lead or the people they have impacted with their faith? None of that crossed my mind. Don’t get me wrong, all those things are great, and well worth being proud of them for. But THIS, THIS moment was deeper than that. I was proud because… they were my daughters. That’s it, nothing more. Nothing they could do could make me love them any more or any less. It was simply a prideful love over the ones I call “my children”.

Parents, do yourselves a huge favor and learn to find that kind of pride if you haven’t already. We all love and have pride in our kids, I don’t doubt that. But, does most of that pride come from how well they throw a football? How many strikeouts they pitched last season? Does it depend on their report card or SAT scores or if they got accepted by your alma mater? If they dropped the game winning pass, AGAIN, or if their trophy shelf was empty or they chose your rival college to go to, would your “pride” be deflated even a little? Be careful! Be careful that “approval” doesn’t communicate “pride”. Let them see, hear and understand that your pride for them comes simply because they are your children. Win or lose, victory or failure, nothing more, nothing less… pride.

This is how our Heavenly Father sees US! In our best or in our worst, He loves. He watches us climb the mountains, even if we’re lost most of the time and He smiles. His face beaming and His pride overflowing as His children live life etched in the heart of a Father. Do your kids really know where your pride for them comes from? Do they know that their failures won’t chase you away? Turn off your computer, ask God how to do it best and go let em know. 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”