How to help kids find their identity in Christ – For many of us, the topic of identity has moved to the forefront of our minds as we seek to navigate the subject for ourselves, and deposit life-giving truth into our children and those we love the most.
In this time, when so many believers are discouraged by the messages of the world and culture, I believe that God wants to deposit a strong sense of identity into parents and children in order to produce thriving lives.
We want lives that embody what Christ promised in John 10:10 – abundant life to the fullest. Who we believe we are is incredibly powerful. It is the lens through which we see God and one another.
What we believe about ourselves is precious and ultimately is the bedrock on which we build our lives, legacies, and relationships.
As parents, teachers, and leaders, we have the beautiful and great responsibility of helping children in their identity journey. We want children to rest in complete confidence that they are defined by their loving heavenly Father, fully justified in Christ, and joyfully convinced of their adoption as children of God in the Holy Spirit.
This goal is incredible, no doubt, but how do we begin creating a culture in the home first where we walk in the right identity together?
How to help kids find their identity in Christ begins with YOU understanding the truths about what God says about YOU.
One of the most powerful weapons against warped identity is having mothers and fathers who know who they are first, and allow these truths to run downstream. Children drink from the wells of truth we dig first for ourselves.
What we have received inwardly becomes their inheritance. The truths we have fought to live by become their foundation.
Practically this will look like turning to key passages of scripture to give us the wisdom and guidance we need. To demonstrate the power of this, take a moment with me to breathe and let the truth of His Word sink in, and wash over you no matter where you find yourself today.
As you believe these truths about yourself, you are equipped to speak them to your children.
You are loved.
Before your first breath was ever taken, and when only God knew you in the womb, he loved you and called you by name. You are known, and you have His full attention. You are seen, even in the bits of life that others deem mundane.
God has fixed his affectionate eyes on you because he cares.
You can never be abandoned or forsaken. He will never leave your side no matter where you go.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-29
You are adopted.
You were destined to be adopted by a perfect Father through the finished work of Jesus. God gave you the right to be called a beloved son or daughter of God.
You are never again to be led by fear but are now fully and unconditionally accepted in Him. If God is for you, who can be against you?
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13
You are created with divine destiny and purpose.
God designed you to live, breathe and be in this world. He knew each day you would be here, even has full knowledge of this day – among the amazing and the mundane.
He has a plan for your life. You are ever on his mind, and his thoughts for you are vast and innumerable, outnumbering the grains of sand on the seashore.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
How to Help Kids Find Their Identity in Christ
As we rest and receive truth from the Father and take our time growing deep roots, the fruit becomes inevitable. We don’t have to strive or be forceful as parents to give away what we know to be true. As leaders we have to be careful, yes, and deeply considerate of those who follow behind us – but never ever afraid of opposing voices.
We are well equipped to face the moments when other value systems or worldly metrics come against what we know to be true. We are incredibly empowered and capable!
In moments when our children are locked in striving, shame, doubt, or fear, we can boldly step in and remind them: “This is not who you are.” Together as families, we can lean into the truth of God’s word made alive in us by the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth and quiets even the most deceptive of lies.
We can echo the truths given to us in Christ. He shows us that identity does not come from outer achievements, status, wealth, or talents and abilities. Identity is not conditional upon perfect behavior or performance. Identity cannot be removed by a school bully, a patronizing teacher, the confusion of social media, or even by well-meaning friends.
Finding our identity is a free gift of the Father, an unshakable foundation, and one of the most joyful realities of the Christian life.
Finding Identity in Christ
One of my favorite places to watch identity shape lives is in children’s ministry.
One Sunday morning, I was wrapping up a day serving in my local church’s kid’s ministry when I felt one of the little girls hanging around my knees. When I turned to face her, she was beaming up at me with a huge smile.
At that moment I wanted her to feel seen and cared for, and I started to sing a song over her from the children’s television show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood:
“It’s you I like, it’s not the things you wear, it’s not the way you do your hair. But it’s you I like the way you are right now, the way down deep inside you, not the things that hide you, not your toys they’re just beside you. But it’s you I like. Every part of you. Your skin, your eyes, your feelings, whether old or new. I hope that you’ll remember even when you’re feeling blue that it’s you I like. It’s you yourself. It’s you.”
To my surprise, without skipping a beat, she stared at me and started to sing back the words over me “It’s you I like, the way you are right now,” like she had been invited into a duet.
It was beautiful.
At that moment, I had this verse jump to the forefront of my mind, “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.
God is singing unconditional love songs over us so that we can sing songs of truth and love over one another.
The words we speak over our kids, the songs we sing, the conversations we have, and the tears we dry today right now, are all contributing to the beautiful fruit of right identity that comes from living planted in the loving heart of God.
How to help kids find their identity in Christ? Believe it for yourself. Let it trickle down onto them. Speak truth over their lives.
This was written by a guest writer. Here’s more about her:
My name is Megan Ledbetter, and I am a children’s book author and illustrator based in San Diego, California. I aim to create beauty and joy through illustration and to tell stories that will impact the lives of young children, encouraging them in their faith. This book project started as a dream, to share the incredible love of God and how the truth of his word is the foundation of our identities.