Favor With Man
One of the four attributes mentioned in Luke 2:52 that describes the way in which Jesus was raised and grew is that He learned what it meant to have favor with man. I believe that this phrase captures the idea of our children’s social and personal growth. I am convinced that teaching our children to have favor with man is critical to their upbringing.
What does having favor with man really look like? In essence, I believe that this is best defined as teaching our children how to have successful relationships in life as defined by the Bible. If our children cannot learn to get along with others, then numerous struggles in life await them.
First of all, learning to get along with others begins with teaching our children the concept of what is called the “Golden Rule”. Matthew 7:12 tells us to “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”We live very much in a “me” generation that only looks out for itself. In order for our children to have successful relationships, we must teach them first to treat others as they would like to be treated. Further, we should teach them as Philippians 2:3 instructs “to esteem others better than yourselves.” Specifically, our children need to learn to put others first.
Next, we must teach them that not only is everything not about me but they must also learn to serve others. Learning to serve others is a Biblical command for all of us and one that we must model for our children if they are to grasp this command. Matthew 20:27 declares: “And whosever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” This verse tells us that if our children are to gain favor with man then they must learn servant leadership.
Jesus Himself was the model for this principle of servant hood by giving sacrificially through His ministry and His death. Mark 10:45 illustrates this when it states: “For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Indeed, learning to have favor with man involves treating others as you would be treated, esteeming others more than yourself, and learning to serve others. Jesus grew in these traits and modeled these traits and leaves for us as parents today this model for instilling these traits in our children.
As parents, we all desire that our children gain favor with man so that they might be successful in life. I pray that in my own life that I might model for my children the servant leadership style that Jesus modeled for us. What better way for my kids to really see “Jesus in me”!