When my oldest started 7th grade, one of her assignments on the first day of school was to fill out a “Get to Know Me” type questionnaire. A couple of questions that caused me to think a bit were, “What am I known for around school?” and “What do I want to be known for?” This is really asking, where does your identity lie? We can look back at the Breakfast Club for some helpful hints as to what people are known for in school….the athlete, the geek, the trouble maker, the beauty queen, the weirdo. A huge part of raising kids and guiding kids as they grown into adults is to help them to establish their identity. We can do this as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, leaders, neighbors, or any person who has any amount of influence in a child or youth’s life. I want my kids to know that their identity lies in Christ. They are who they are in relation to how much Jesus loves them. When the world looks at my girls, the desire is that they will be known by whom they belong to and that is Jesus Christ.
Identity begins with how we see ourselves and what we believe to be true of ourselves. The way to lay a foundation of confidence in which we are in Christ is to speak truth and have your children speak the truth and this will become what they believe and that will influence how they behave.
You are what you HEAR: Speak encouraging words to the children in your life beginning at birth. Speak praise about them to other people at times when they hear you. Fill your home with sounds that will remind your children of their identity in Christ. This comes in teaching, your words, and worship music.
You are what you SAY: Encourage your children to speak positively about themselves. In the movie “The Help,” the main character was a black woman who was a maid in a white home. Her name was Aibileen and much of her job was caring for the 3 year old little girl. This little girl’s mama spoke nothing but criticism and frustration to and about the child. Aibileen begins a habit of telling the little girl, “You are smart, you are kind, you are important” and having her repeat it back to her. This habit of hearing it and saying it will lead her to really believe it.
You are what you DO: Act like a child of Christ. Walk in his power, grace, love, and freedom.
Here are some phrases based in Scripture that you can begin to speak over the children in your life and have them speak back to you. There are some that will be more relevant than others depending on the age, stage and circumstances of the children. I found this helpful list on Joyce Meyer’s website, http://www.joycemeyer.org.
I’d love to hear how your children respond to these truths and any creative ways you have tried to encourage your children to hear them, say them, and act upon them. Here are a few to start with:
I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).
I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17,19).
I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9,10).
I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).