The reward for humility and fear of the LORDis riches and honor and life.
(Proverbs 22:4 ESV)
It is quite a difficult thing to define, often we tend to think of humility in terms of what it is not rather than what it is. After a lot of thinking and very long sentences I have finally got down to these two things:
Confidence in God
Fear of God
By confidence in God I mean that humility puts total trust in God and very little trust in self. This contrasts with the self-confidence commonly encouraged in young folks these days. Confidence in self produces arrogance and pride as people compare themselves with others — one self-sufficient being comparing themselves with other self-sufficient beings.
Praying for my kids to become confident in God just makes a lot of sense. If I don’t have confidence that God will answer such a prayer then there is no point wanting humility for my kids. By trusting in God myself I not only ask good things for them but also provide an example of humbly committing my requests to God. A person who is confident in God knows His character and asks in accordance with what is likely to be God’s will to give.
A person who places their confidence in God is not shaken by circumstances or personal failure — God does not fail us. We may falter in faith but God remains trustworthy.
To know God is to also fear God. Not fear of an unpredictable tyrant, but the fear and immense respect due to a being who is perfect in all His attributes and of infinite glory. He is our Father, He is also holy. In Christ we can approach God without fear, yet He is so awesome in glory and holiness that as we grow in knowledge of God we also grow to respect Him ever more.
A child with unwavering confidence in God’s unchanging character and growing in fear as knowledge of His holiness grows — this is what we are asking for when we pray for our kids to become humble.