Teaching Biblical Dependence- Why Independence Is Overrated

Want to know a secret?  I don’t want my kids to be independent.  You read that right.  I believe independence as we see it in modern western society is entirely overrated and unhealthy.  I would much rather my children learn the Biblical art of dependence!

Teach your children dependence on God and those he puts in their lives, because independence is unhealthy and overrated! #motherhood #faith #unitstudy #homeschool
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Before anyone starts getting worked up, thinking I want my kids to be incapable of doing things or to ‘live off the system’, that is NOT what I’m saying.  I want my kids to have skills.  My goal is for them to be able to cook, clean, manage their money, and do all these other important life tasks.  My objection isn’t to them knowing how to do things for themselves.  It’s with the modern western concept of ‘independence’.

What Is Your Foundation?

People always say we don’t get more than we can handle.  They are wrong!  We routinely get more happening in our lives than we can handle on our own.  If we could handle everything on our own we would have no need for God!

The reality is, there will be times in life when dependence on God will be the only thing that gets us through.  If we don’t teach reliance on God from their earliest years, our kids won’t have a strong foundation when the storms of life blow in.  The parable of the wise and foolish builders makes it clear that we must build our foundation on God and his word if we’re going to weather the storms.

Even if we lead an amazing life without a single rocky moment shaking us, we would STILL need to depend on God.  John 15: 4-5 tells us exactly that.  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.”  If we want to grow in our walk with God, serve him, and truly meet the needs of others, we must remain dependent on God.

Teaching Dependence On God

Now that you understand why you should be teaching dependence on God, how do you do it?  I promise it’s actually pretty simple.  Here are 3 steps to take.

  1. Pray– Ask God to give you guidance about how and when to teach it.
  2. Read the Bible– Read stories from the Bible about people who chose to depend on God or others.  If you prefer a story Bible, Egermeir’s Bible Story Book is our favorite.  It doesn’t hold back from important details while still keeping it easy for kids to understand.
  3. Stop, Drop, & Pray– Use my 30 day Stop, Drop, & Pray study on Biblical dependence.  Click here to sign up for a half off coupon to use on your copy!

Teach your children dependence on God and those he puts in their lives, because independence is unhealthy and overrated! #motherhood #faith #unitstudy #homeschool

Help & Humility

“I don’t need anything from anyone.”  If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times!  Not only is it a lie, it’s a dangerous and prideful lie.

1 Corinthians 12: 14-18 says, “Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.  If the foot says, ‘I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,’ that does not make it any less part of the body.  And if they ear says, ‘I am not a part of the body because I am not an eye,’ would that make it any less part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?  Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?  But our bodies have many parts and God put each part just where he wants it.”

The passage clearly tells us that we each serve an important purpose.  It’s not possible to be 100% independent, because God gave us each a unique role and gifts.  Most of us are willing to help others when they need it, so why do we believe we can’t need help?  The idea that we don’t need anyone else boils down to pride.  It’s ‘other people’ who need help, not us.  Except we do!  We only need to be humble enough to accept it.  Sometimes that pride can go so far that it makes us resist even offering help, because people should be able to ‘handle their own business’.  My friend, if you find yourself thinking that, you have wandered into ‘prideful independence’ territory!  We need to model both offering and asking for help for our children.

Teaching Humble Dependence on Others

If independence is about pride, then reliance on others is about humility.  How do we teach our children humble reliance on others?

  1. Pray– Always pray first.  Ask God to give you a humble spirit and a willingness to both ask for and offer help when needed.
  2. Search the scriptures– Learn scripture passages together that show the importance of humility.  Two great passages are Philippians 2:4 and Romans 12: 3-5.
  3. Model it– If we want our kids to have a humble spirit, we must model it ourselves.  That includes asking for help when we need it and apologizing when we make a mistake.
  4. Volunteer– Serving others together will draw you closer to God, closer as a family, and remind you that it is a blessing to be able to serve others.  That means letting others serve you blesses them, too!
  5. Stop, Drop, & Pray– Use my 30 day Stop, Drop, & Pray study on Biblical dependence.  Click here to sign up for a half off coupon to use on your copy!


Independence Is Overrated

In modern western culture we tend to see ‘complete independence’ as the ultimate goal.  Never asking anyone for anything is somehow a sign of success.  That’s not the kind of success we want for our kids!  Dependence on God and those he puts in our lives should be our end goal.

Don’t forget to sign up here to get half off the Stop, Drop, and Pray study!  It will get you the full 30 day study for just $2.50 through October 15th!


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Leslie Watters
    Everyone needs to teach their children to depend on God. This is a great and helpful post. Life can be challenging at times but with God all things are possible. Thanks for sharing!
    1. heather
      Yes! Learning to rely on God (and not just try to rely on themselves) is such an important lesson!
  2. Annette
    oh... I like this. A good call back to remembering that our sole trust is in God and sometimes he provides us exactly the community that we need.
    1. heather
      Oh yes. God always intended us to live in community and care for each other's needs. In our self-centered times it has become far too easy to forget that!

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