At the Renaissance Weekend (a secular conference), both Button and Siah were on a panel where kids discussed heroes—who theirs were, why, and what makes a hero. The kids planned in advance. Siah picked King David and Jesus. Button picked Moses and Joshua. Button even went so far as to start scripting out what she was going to say. But she wasn’t going to have that much time, so I advised that she just speak from her heart.
Famous last words.
In a room full of adults, the panel of kids went around and briefly shared who their heroes were—firefighters, soldiers, parents, siblings, Larry the Cable Guy…then Siah said Jesus and King David (I was so proud of him)…then it was Button’s term.
She stood up. “Well, basically, my hero is ME!”

Niki and I were shocked.

“See, I have a lot of confidence. I do what’s right. I do things like tell  other kids about Jesus at school when I know I could get in trouble. But it doesn’t matter because what I’m doing is right. And…”

Niki’s head is hung and covered by his hands, both mortified and proud at the same time.

Button doesn’t miss a beat: “And… Daddy, please get your head out of your hands…Like I was saying. If you have confidence like me, then you can be a hero, too! For all you grown ups out there, I have a question for you. If you’re not a hero already, then why aren’t you? What could you be doing that you’re not doing? Think about THAT.” And she sits down with authority.

The discussion continued. And you gotta be sure she had something to say on every discussion point. Particularly the one about bullies.  The basic idea was, “Is it okay to make a bully cry if you’re doing it while defending or protecting a friend of yours?” All the kids who spoke reached the conclusion that if you make the bully cry, you’re no better than the bully. You’re basically bullying the bully, and that’s wrong, too.

Button stood up again (all the other kids who spoke had stayed sitting). “You guys just don’t get it, do you?! If the bully cries, that’s HIS problem. He needs to own that.  He needs to get over it.  It’s fine to make a bully cry if you’re doing it for the right reason. Maybe he’ll finally stop bullying people!”

As we walked out of the room, amused and surprised all at the same time, Niki commented to me, “That’s YOUR daughter. That’s YOU in an unrefined state! You’ve done a fantastic job instilling a sense of self-confidence. Now we get to focus on humility!”

I was so impressed with her for so many reasons.  One of them being her worldview development — that in the face of overwhelming opinion to the contrary, she was able to express a principled approach to dealing with bullies (“right” is not based on the effect on the other person, but your motivation and intent in confronting them). Also, her understanding that SO MUCH of what makes a hero is their confidence. What you believe about yourself matters. It determines your courage, your faith, and your boldness to do what’s right even if it comes at a cost.  And I love that she sees herself as a hero.  Because she is.

Way to recognize it, girl. Hold onto that. Even when peer pressure continues to mount through your teenage years, hold onto that.

Do not throw away your confidence for it will be richly rewarded. Heb. 10:35