Give Praise When Due

"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it" (Proverbs 3:27).

Do you think praising your homeschooled children will cause conceit and pride in their character? Since I received few compliments as a child from my stoic Dutch and German parents, I wondered if my praise would lead to an over-inflated ego in my children. I struggled with this question and searched the Scriptures for an answer until one day I read, "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

My children would probably say I was tough on them as a homeschool parent. I didn't grade on a curve, and 96% and above was considered an "A." I used the dreaded red pen liberally in language arts lessons and compositions, and I rarely fudged when playing a board game to let them win. However, even though I was tough, I learned to lavish my children with large amounts of praise. I complimented them whenever they did an excellent job on a paper or whenever they showed initiative and creativity in completing a project. I looked for ways each day to tell them how proud I was of them personally and academically. A few encouraging words made such a difference in their lives!

God created us to give praise — first to Him and then to others. He loves to hear our prayers that proclaim His goodness and our songs of highest praise. God even wants us to bring a sacrifice of praise to Him when life brings difficult times. Are you discouraged today? Is praising the Lord the last thing you feel like doing? Move past your feelings to obedience and bring the sacrifice of praise unto the Lord. God is in control of your life. Whatever the circumstances, He deserves our worship as a holy God. "O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name" (Psalm 74:21).

Father, when I look at the problems in my life, I find it so difficult to praise You. Help me to turn my eyes upon You now and sing glorious praises to You, my King. I worship You, my great and holy God! In Your Son's name, Amen.

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Comments(11 comments)

NICOLE D 11/15/2008 02:45:25

When I read this email, it really hit home for me. I know that I let myself get caught up in the daily go-round of life with multiple children, and I know that I don't give them nearly as much praise and encouragement as they deserve. This is definitely an issue that I need to pray about and put more effort for. Thank you so much for this devotional.

LISA W 11/18/2009 13:59:55

Wow! I can't begin to tell you how encouraging this is to me. I look forward to reading a new devotion each morning. I am inspired to press on...

Margery G 11/15/2010 07:44:36

I am a grandma, and after reading this, I am challenged to be a grandma who finds ways to encourage my 10 grandchildren.

Michelle Q 11/15/2010 07:54:26

This really hits home for me as well. I too received very little if any praise growing up. There was a lot of negativity in my home and I have picked it up in my adulthood. I pray every day to be more positive, encouraging, and to set a good example for my children. I love reading these devotionals, even when I get behind on them. They encourage me.

SHARON M 11/15/2010 09:30:58

Our family just listened to Dr. S.M. Davis sermon "How to Develop Character in your Children" yesterday. What a great word from the Lord of how to give praise and encouragement to our chlldren plus others. Today I just found another sermon by Dr. S.M. Davis called "Praising Character Rather Than Achievement" Looking foward to hearing this one. Sounds like it is part of the Character Series. Another resource we have used in our family is Great biblically based infomation for families to use. Growing up I also lacked encourgement and praise from my parents. I find a lot of times it is hard to find ways to do that for our chlidren because our our past. Dr.S.M. Davis and others have shown us a different and biblical way to do so. I hope this will help you in your walk with God and your relationships with your families.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:16

MIRIAM C 11/15/2010 10:32:21

Spot on. The key to the success is praise to the Lord first! Then our perspective is correct and it becomes some much easier for praise of others to flow forth from our hearts & lips.

TIRZAH B 11/15/2010 15:56:57

This was just what I needed.... wish I would have had time to read this morning. DD became very upset today and told me that I do not tell her "Good Job" as often as I do my DS. Thank you Lord for your gentle reminder.

OLIVIA S 11/16/2010 04:34:44

I have a question? So is Praising your children good, or does it lead to a bigger ego, pride, conceit. etc? I didn't quite understand the devotion.

JANET T 11/16/2010 08:33:17

Olivia - Thank you for your question. Yes, it is important to praise your children to encourage them in their academic performance. However, it is even more important to praise them when they demonstrate Christ-like character qualities each day that glorify God.

NICHELLE A 11/15/2011 04:24:49

Thank you so much for this devotion. It reminded me that I am to encourage and edify my children on a daily basis. Also, to praise God through it all.

CARRIE K 11/15/2012 07:24:13

I recently realized that a 70 year old relative is still battling resentment of his stoic parents. The stoicism can be traced back to my Scottish great-grandmother who, starting as a very young widow, raised 6 children through the Great Depression, and apparently ate onions and barbed wire for breakfast. Actually, I have lots of pictures of her snuggling her children (even when they were senior adults!), but it just goes to show the far reach of our actions. As if one didn\'t need more to think about, our affection, praise, or lack thereof can extend generations. Thank you for this devotional today. I will put it to good use!

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