As parents, it’s our duty to shape and mold our kids to be good citizens in the world. We all have an idea of what that looks like and we, whether it’s on purpose or not, are crafting our children in our likeness. It’s recognizable in those moments of stark self-awareness when our kids say something that we want to critique but suddenly realize where they got their information, from the horse’s mouth! We need to be intentional in what we do and what we say because our kids are destined to become mini versions of ourselves.
Hopefully, as Christian parents, that’s not too bad of a thing! But the question for all of us to think about is, are we making a conscious decision about how we’re helping to shape our kids, or will it happen by accident? If we’re making the conscious decision, then one major stepping stone in that journey is helping them develop their identity in Christ. To help us all out, let me define that. To find your identity in Christ is to know how God sees you. It is to understand that you are His and that He loves you. It is to operate in life with this knowledge at the helm, not the idea that the world, or how other people see you, somehow defines you.
Here are 3 practical tips for helping your student find their identity in Christ:
- Lead by Example: It’s so simple, and yet, it can seem so hard. As a pastor, I only got about 100 hours per year with the students in my ministry. Most of that time wasn’t spent in deep relationships with most of the students. I needed the parents to help disciple their own kids and I could come alongside them to reinforce what they were teaching. As parents, the way we conduct ourselves in public and around the house is of primary importance to helping our kids find their identity in Christ.
- Regular Church Involvement: Notice that I didn’t just say church attendance, but church involvement. The difference here is important. On the attendance side, we can be a bit more consumeristic in our faith. When we just attend church, we can often wonder what’s in it for us. When we are involved, it shifts our thinking outside of ourselves, and we begin to focus on how we can help someone else experience God. Help your kids find ways to serve in the church and use their gifts and skills that will make it enjoyable.
- Bible Study and Prayer: This is how we find our autonomy with God. When we spend consistent time studying the Word and talking with its Author. Encourage your kids to set aside specific time to spend with the Lord. Make sure they have the tools, both physically and mentally, to engage for a period of time. Lead by example in this area as well. I remember waking up many days to one or both of my parents sitting in the living room praying and reading their Bible. This built a desire for a connection with Jesus like they had.
In all things, have patience with your kids! We all know that it takes time to develop a strong identity in Christ. We’re with you on the journey and praying for God to take hold of all of His kids.
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