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.
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.
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
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?