Confession- I eavesdrop on my kids. I know, I know….you do as well! I find their conversations fascinating. It usually makes no sense by the end or turns into verbal world war. The end results are one of the following, if not all of them, yelling to my wife or me stating their injustice! The other day I heard them playing “make believe.” This always cracks me up because they spend way too long setting up their scenario. They go into great detail establishing the setting. They make sure to state whether their house is a cottage or a mansion. They elaborate on their wardrobe and accessories and who is related to whom. Right as they start they may slip in one more condition, “I have a dog named, Matilda. She’s blue.” Not only do they detail the setting, they make sure to expound on their character – if they are married, what they like and do not like, and their favorite song, food, shoes, and day of the week. They never leave out what magical powers they have, either. Especially if they create a power that can somehow dwarf the others. The best part is, it takes longer to set up the scene than to actually play it out.
While they were setting up their scene, their identity meant everything. It mattered to them who they were, where they were from, what they had, what they could and would do, and the result of the scene. Who they are and whom they belong to matter even at a very early age. They are not only curious about their identity, they are flat out trying to shape it and maybe even alter it as they play out different roles.
As Christian parents, we have every obligation to make sure that we raise our children to understand several things about their identity.
- They are created in the very image of God. Genesis 1:27 says that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.” Every life is precious because we are stamped in the image of the Holy Creator of the universe.
- God created a special purpose for them. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
- They are sinners in need of a Savior.Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Even at an early age, we see they have a sin nature and need to be saved from the result of sin.
- They need Jesus. God in His grace sent Jesus as a substitute sacrifice and died for them. Kids are secure when they know that God and Jesus love them. Tell them that- over and over.
- God will work in their life for His purposes. Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Teach them the Lord will guide their steps through the Word.
We have a great command as parents to teach our kids about the Lord, to love Him and serve Him. The world we live in has completely differing thoughts. Each man is his own and is responsible to no one. One of the greatest ways to shape our kids identity is to constantly spend time with them in the scriptures and daily conversation helping them discover who they are in Jesus Christ. Ultimately we would love to hear each of them say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)”
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