Did you ever go home in tears after kids at school made fun of you? My memories of those years flooded back recently. I was in a school office when a young student ran into her mother’s waiting arms and cried. Her mom whispered that it would be okay. When they left the receptionist turned to me, “It’s so hard being a teenager. All those emotions to deal with…”
I remember those emotions. Most of the cruel things others said have faded, but a few occasionally rear their head and threaten to cast a shadow on my self-image once again. How do we help our kids develop a healthy and yet humble self-image?
I think the answer is found in a story my husband experienced when he was in high school.
Brad sat with his parents at the kitchen table talking about the genuine humility of Billy Graham. Brad’s dad said, “I think God has blinded Billy Graham to his greatness.” His mom leaned over and whispered to her son, “I think God has blinded someone else too.”
For years Brad agreed with both assessments. His dad started the largest Para-church organization in history, produced the Jesus Film (several billion people have seen it and over 200 million people have trusted in Christ as a result) wrote the 4 Spiritual Laws (more than 2.5 billion published)…and yet Bill Bright was the most humble man Brad has ever known. Did God blind his dad to his greatness?
Brad discovered that his dad’s humility wasn’t due to blindness, but rather his vision was so filled with the greatness of God that there was no room left for pride or self focus.”
Our view of God is the foundation of our self-image. If our view of God is accurate there’s no room for pride or low self-esteem. How do we raise our kids to have a healthy self-image? One that believes they can do anything but that apart from God they can do nothing of value? How do we teach them to love who they are without pride or conceit? We begin by teaching them who God really is and what that means for them as His child. I know it sounds too simple, but it’s the critical foundation upon which our children will build their self-esteem.
Open your children’s eyes to the wonderful reality that each one is God’s masterpiece, created in love and perfectly designed for His purpose. Cultivate a confidence in His complete control over all things and His promise that nothing can stop His plan for their life- not a teacher nor a coach, not the betrayal of a friend nor the rejection of a love, not the limitations of our body or our mind. NOTHING can stop His plan! I don’t know about you, but now and then I need that reminder myself!
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT
P.S. Nick Vujicic is a true inspiration. Born with no arms and no legs he struggled to see the value of his life. His story is encouraging for kids of all ages. Take time to watch a YouTube clip of his story and talk about it with your kids.