THEME: Pride in the Home

by Shane Carrington

Synopsis: While arrogant pride divides and destroys families, humble thankfulness strengthens our families in time and toward eternity.


I am proud of my children and grandchildren, but not in the sense of arrogance, egotism, or narcissism—the “pride” God repeatedly condemns in Scripture (cf. Prov. 8:13; 11:2; 16:18; 29:23; Mark 7:22; 1 John 2:15-17; etc.). Such attitudes are sinful under all circumstances.

“Pride,” though, as we often use it colloquially, means thankfulness. The “pride” I experience because of my family swells into humble thanksgiving to God from my heart and wells into joyful tears of gratitude in my eyes. “Pride” that Scripture condemns pulls people away from God, but pride, as reflected in humble thankfulness, draws people near to Him.

Distinguishing between these contrasting attitudes requires discernment: “Am I lifting myself up, looking down at others, and leaving God out of the picture?” or “am I humbly grateful for and strengthened by the rich blessing of the family with which God has graced me”? Truly,

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate (Ps. 127:3-5).

God designed the family to instill a sense of loving belonging, diligently driving each member to grow and to help one another grow. We should manifest God-ward thankfulness for the special place of family in our lives. Allowing this to become an excuse for arrogance is a monstrous perversion of that which God provided to enrich our lives as His servants, both now and toward eternity.

Arrogant pride has no place in godly hearts or God-centered families. If we take our eyes off Jesus in our daily family walk, egotistic narcissism can rear its ugly head (actually, Satan’s hideous influence) in our families. To guard against this outcome, let us consider some dangers and the cures that God offers.

Pride in Husbands and Wives

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church. . . But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything (Eph. 5:22-24).

Husbands who pridefully view headship over the wife as some grand, regal privilege granted by God to make them superior need to read the next verse: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). Jesus modeled loving headship—servant leadership. The husband’s headship is a grave, godly responsibility to lead the home with the sacrificial heart of Jesus. Agapē, not arrogance, must drive us.

Wives who pridefully view submission as demeaning or as some kind of competition with her husband—rather than godly service—would do well to focus on the ultimate example of submission—Jesus. His submission to the will of the Father was both beautiful and powerful (Phil. 2:5-11), modeling servanthood through which all can learn and grow. Again, agapē, not arrogance, must drive us.

Godly husbands and wives seek the best for one another in the will of God, modeling the love of Jesus and striving to cultivate this quality in their mate. Where this loving humility and service prevails, both draw nearer to God—and one another—just like God designed.

Pride in Fathers and Mothers

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart (Col. 3:21).

Children are one of the most important stewardships that God invests in anyone. “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord” (Ps. 127:3) to be brought up by parents “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). God places these tender, helpless, malleable little lives into our hands, willing us to instill in them the value of loving God and all that this entails (Deut. 6:1-9). What a sobering task, requiring godly diligence and presence in body, mind, and heart. Children are not toys for mere enjoyment, but eternal creations of God who need to be taught what it means to be children of God. This education demands parental godliness (exemplifying God’s will), instruction concerning both God’s nature and His will (specific teaching), and firm, loving implementation of God’s will (modeled after God’s love of His children).

Arrogant pride enters when parents view children as a source of bragging rights due to their athletic, musical, academic, or spiritual prowess. This leads to unhealthy competition with other parents—a desire to show their children superior. This parental arrogance is destructive to the children, friendships (both of the children and their parents), and the church.

God designed parenthood to keep Him at the center of the family and all its doings. Extracurricular activities offer wonderful diversion and greater opportunity for healthy, well-balanced lives. Still, an obsession with achieving carnally-centered perfection and a spirit of selfish competition removes one’s eyes and heart from the love of God and others. Balancing these requires a hard look at the amount of time consumed by the activities, the attitudes manifested in them, and the long-lasting dispositions being developed by them. Moms and Dads need to communicate with each other and their children, making sure God stays and grows at the heart of who they are as individuals and as a family. This is accomplished through faithful participation in assemblies, prayer, time with God’s word, service to others, etc. Humble service to God is the focus of godly parenting.

Pride in Children

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth (Eph. 6:1-3).

Growth is painful—for parents and children. From the time children come into this world, seeds that develop a longing for independence begin to germinate. By the teenage years, they awaken to full bloom.

Suddenly, they become more intelligent, better informed, and possessed of greater wisdom than their parents! They discover their parents have no clue what it means to be a teenager. “You don’t understand! Things are so different today!”

Most teenagers—at some point in their maturing process—feel this way. Some handle this better than others, but the angst for independence still presents itself. Rather than submitting to parents, teens want to make their own decisions.

It takes a great deal of self-control and humility on the part of a teenager to handle these strong desires with maturity. Teens, remember that your parents love you more than their own lives. They would do anything to help you on this journey to adulthood. Humility in relationship with your parents is one of the greatest tools God uses to teach you humility to Him. Remember, the more maturely you conduct yourself, the more quickly you will mature.


I am filled with thankfulness and humility at the very thought of my children and grandchildren. This is how we often use the word “proud.” Yet, arrogant “Pride goes before destruction. . .” (Prov. 16:18) and is universally condemned in Scripture. Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25). Arrogant pride exacts quite a toll.

In contrast, love, thankfulness, and humility reside at the heart of every healthy family. The grace of God and the love of Jesus exemplify, instruct, and strengthen families for Him. These alleviate arrogant pride, instill humility and gratefulness, and shape godly families. Thank you, Lord, for your awe-inspiring gifts!

Author Bio

Shane has worked with the Southside church of Christ in Sulphur Springs, TX for twenty-two years. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children. The church website is He can be reached at