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الجمعة, أبريل 19, 2024
الرئيسيةEnglishHow to Help Kids Find Their Identity

How to Help Kids Find Their Identity

Catherine Parks

The Joy of Limited Options

Children are now given so many options by which to define themselves, and they’re invited to change those things whenever they feel like it. These options go beyond what kinds of food and music they like and reach instead into the deepest parts of their identities, including aspects like gender and sexuality. This might feel like freedom, but rising levels of anxiety and depression among kids seem to tell a different story.

We’re tempted to think that having many options is a good thing. But if you’ve ever been to a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, you know that a larger menu of choices isn’t always freeing; sometimes it’s overwhelming. How can I possibly choose the best thing? What if I make the wrong choice?

One of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children is that they are designed with intention. Their lives are not an accident or a result of random chance.

(Psalm 139:13-14) says:

For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.

This is a beautiful truth for a child to hear: “You were designed by your Creator to be just who you are. He only made one of you, and His work is amazing!” Even on the days they don’t like who they are—and we’ve all had those days—they can grasp onto this truth.

But we can go even deeper than that. Not only did God create our children with intention and excellence, but He also made them in His image.

(Genesis 1:27) says,

So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female (CSB).

In the story of creation from Genesis 1 and 2, only humans are said to be made in God’s image. The animals are amazing, but they do not bear the image of God. But every child bears the image of his or her Creator, and that image is displayed uniquely by each person.

Finding Identity in Christ

In (Colossians 3:12), Paul writes to Christians, telling us to put on the things that fit with our new identity in Christ. Before, we were lost, dead in our sins. But now, because of the work of Jesus in our place, we are alive in Him.

But before he tells us what to put on, he reminds us of who we are, saying, “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved…”

We are chosen. We are holy (set apart for Him). We are dearly loved.

So as we disciple our children to follow Jesus, we can say to them:

“I know you feel left out and lonely, but isn’t it good to know that God calls you ‘chosen?’”

 “I know you feel like no one loves you, but the Creator of the universe calls you ‘dearly loved.’”

In a world that is constantly changing, our kids need to know that some things never change, and at the top of that list is God’s love for them. Their tastes will change and their friends will change, but if they are in Christ, then their deepest identity—chosen, holy, and dearly loved—will never change. And that’s the best news ever.

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