Pride, or Pleasure?

My daughter, Shae, whom many of you know from her blogs Teen, Meet God and Shae’s Days, completed her annual dance recital (three performances) this past Friday and Saturday.

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I marvel when I watch my daughter dance. She has been blessed with the genes and talent (none from me!) necessary to become an accomplished performer.

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But talent is a gift from God that still must be developed with regular, long hours of practice.

Fortunately, Shae realizes that. I have never had to push her to practice between class days, or encourage her to attack a new skill. Sometimes, I feel compelled to tell her to take a break. But she truly loves to dance! One can see it on her face.

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When recital time comes, those hundreds of hours of practice bear fruit. Other parents of dancers often say to my husband and I, “You must be so proud of Shae!”

But I never want to exhibit the fleshly, selfish pride in my daughter that God so loathes – as if I contributed to her success, or as if that success were due to her efforts alone.

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2

Rather, I want the pleasure I take in my daughter’s abilities to be a combination of gratitude, humility, and joy.

I am thankful for her strong body, strong heart, and strong mind.

I am humbled as I consider the goodness of God, and wonder what other blessings he has in store for my daughter.

I am joyful as I see her dancing on our deck, in our living room, or across a stage – so happy that she is able to do well what she enjoys so much.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:30-31

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I would like to take great pleasure in my daughter, without any pride.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. – 3 John 4

Have you ever considered the difference between taking pride or pleasure in someone or something? Do you think this distinction is important?


because home wasn't built in a day

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9 thoughts on “Pride, or Pleasure?”

  1. Great distinction to make. Usually pride gets talked about because we derive it from our own abilities, but I can see where parents might also form my identity from praise for a child’s performance; whether it’s behavior or talent related.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, exactly! I don’t want to be a parent who is constantly pointing out the virtues and accomplishments of their children, as if the parent is living vicariously through the children. My daughter knows how pleased we are with her and how much we love her, but we don’t need to broadcast that to the rest of the world in a prideful way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post – I totally agree. And by refusing to be prideful based on your children’s talents, you will avoid teaching them that love/approval is based on performance. (That’s a difficult one to un-learn!)

    Liked by 1 person

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