How do you respond when things don’t go your way? When it comes to overcoming challenges, how do you do? In the new movie Overcomer, a high school teacher and basketball coach loses his whole team when the factory in his small town closes and his players’ families move away. He’s forced to coach cross country, a sport he knows nothing about and in which he has no interest. On top of that, the only person to try out for the team is a girl with asthma. To make matters more difficult, the coach receives a 20 percent pay cut.
How would you respond in his situation? How would you like your kids to respond if and when they face similar difficulties in life? At some point, our kids are going to have challenging circumstances. They will face pain and difficulty. How our kids handle adversity will depend largely on what we model and teach. If there is one trait we can help our children develop in order to overcome challenges, it is the following.
A Strong Identity
The coach in Overcomer meets a sick man in a hospital who asks him the question.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a basketball coach,” he responds.
“Ok. Take that away and who are you?”
“I’m a husband and father.”
“Heaven forbid something happens that takes that away. Who are you?”
How would you answer that question? In the book Defined, authors Stephen and Alex Kendrick and Lawrence Kimbrough wrote, “We live in a digital generation that is being constantly bombarded with random and opposing messages about who we are and what we are.” Do you know who and what you are?
The Questions That Matter Most
These are the most important questions to answer in our lives. Who are we? If you take all of our titles away, what is left? Our kids are going to ask these questions and we need to help answer them. If the answers to these questions are unclear to our children, they will struggle through life like a person on a raft in the middle of the ocean being thrown around by the waves. A couple of great books that’ll help you walk through these questions with your teens are Radiant by Priscilla Shirer for teen girls and Revealed by Alex and Stephen Kendrick and Troy Schmidt.
Where Our Identity Comes From
Ultimately, your identity is going to be tied to what you love the most. Ultimately, your identity is going to be tied to what you love the most. What do you love the most? It’s an easy question to answer. All you have to do is answer a couple of practical questions. Where do you invest most of your time and money? What do you spend your time thinking about? And here’s the convicting question: is what you love the most going to last or can it be taken away? And if and when it goes away, what will you be left with?
Critical To Overcoming Challenges
If our kids are going to get good at overcoming challenges, they need a firm identity. They need to know who they are because only then can they stand strong when the waves hit them. Personally, I have found my identity in my relationship with God. Nothing can ever take that away. I have yet to find anything else that gives a person a more firm identity. That is what I am teaching and modeling (as best as I can) for my kids. What will you teach and model to yours?
Sound off: Where do you find your identity?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If someone asked you who you are, what would you say?”