Are You Proud of Me?

  • Randy Karlberg
Father holding his son on his shoulders

My wife and I were taking a walk with two of our grandchildren. We were on a sidewalk in a small Northwest town when we met Joel. It didn’t take long to get to know Joel because as soon as we saw him he asked my name! He is a more than friendly young man. Let’s just say

Joel doesn’t think like most people. He started listing off the tasks that he had completed already today, and it was just after 10AM. I vacuumed my room, I cleaned my bathroom, I took out the trash, I even vacuumed the stairs! This all came in one sentence without a pause or a single breath! But Joel wanted to know only one thing. Joel asked, “Are you proud of me?” I did not even have to think about my answer, “Yes Joel, I am very proud of you!” As a matter of fact, it sounds like he had a really productive day going. He said that he was now ready for the Fourth of July to come! “Two more days!” Very true Joel. Only two more days.

Our conversation didn’t last really long, but my wife and I both had the same thought. Everyone needs to know that someone is proud of them! Why then are we so stingy with our voicing of positive approval to those around us, let alone those we love? The only thing I can think of is we are too busy thinking about ourselves. If people tell us that they are proud of us, it seems a whole lot easier to share our affirmation with others.

Now I am not expecting you to race into the other room and think of some common task with which you can compliment your loved one so as to tell them how proud you are of them. That would just bring the look you get from adolescent children when their own parents acknowledge their presence whilst they are in the company of peers! No words are needed to describe their disdain. But how about looking for an opportunity to tell others how proud you are of them for really no reason other than they are just being who God created them to be? And let’s begin to make this a habit.

Who knows, you may be able to quote Proverbs 25:11 , “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” When my own children have told me that all they really want is for me to be proud of them, well I realized that I have a good deal of “gold” to give away that I have been holding on to. And while you are making it a habit of telling people you are proud of them, why don’t you be generous with an “I love you!” Does it not break your heart when you hear of an adult that says they would give anything to hear their father or mother say, “I love you and I am proud of you?” Let that not be you or I! Be generous with your encouragement. It will mean a great deal to them, even if they do give you the 14 year old eye roll! After all, as my wife and I jointly deduced, everyone needs an “atta boy!”

Ya know, maybe Joel does think like most everyone else. The only difference is he has the boldness to ask for what he is longing to hear. Even if you are struggling with following through on this suggestion, I want you to know just one thing. I am proud of you!