I am troubled by a society that devalues life directly and insidiously and then markets that idea to our kids through video games, music, movies, and television. This, in turn, contributes to kids not realizing that life should be respected, nurtured, and protected. I am concerned about kids who see themselves as cosmic accidents and haphazard, random events. It’s the opposite of how to build self-confidence and self-worth. If life is seen as accidental, then wasting my life, or taking someone else’s may not be that big of a deal.
The summer of 2008 was the worst three-month stretch in the city of Indianapolis in terms of homicides. Most of the suspects were young men and the sad thing is with each killing, we actually lost two people: the victim, who is gone from this world, and the perpetrator, who may ultimately be sentenced to prison. Somehow we have got to reverse this trend, because if a child feels that no one really cares about him, what do you think he begins to feel about himself? Our world has already gone too far in that direction and I think the best way to reverse this trend of thinking is to start getting our children to see themselves as God sees them. Words are powerful; they can stick in kids’ minds for a very long time. If you desire your kids to have a healthy self-image, here are several things you need to tell them.
They are unique.
Let your kids know that they were created by God. Before your kids were ever born, God knew who they would be. Their abilities, interests, and passions are combined within them in a way that has never been seen before. Tell them that they are unique and that it is good and desirable because that’s the way God intended it to be.
They are known and cared about.
God doesn’t sleep, and He cares for your kids. God knows their needs and their desires before they can ever ask. He cares about them in their day-to-day living, in their excitement and in their grief, in their ups and in their downs.
What God says about them.
Psalm 139 13-18 states, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day has passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I cannot even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
Ask your kids what they think.
Now stop and think about that for a minute. I don’t know what your kids have experienced in their life or how those experiences have made them feel about themselves, but after reading those words to them – that God cares about them in every circumstance- they should think about themselves differently. I believe God cares about all of us- He cares about you and about your kids. Life is precious and should be viewed as such.
How do you make your kids feel valued?