Your son’s hand is up so high. “Pick me!!” Now he’s waving his arm back and forth because this is his chance to shine. But he’s overlooked. He’s not seen. He’s not chosen. What words play through his head? Lies or truth? Whispers from the enemy that say “I am not important. Nobody sees me. I must not be good enough.”? Or the identity words you’ve told him so many times he can’t escape them– “I am loved. I am accepted. I am chosen.”
Your daughter, on the other hand, just nailed her performance. I mean talk about a superstar. She couldn’t have performed any better. What an accomplishment! And you should be proud! She’s worked HARD! But let me ask you this– does she still know who she is? Great accomplishments, good looks, amazing performances, and recognition can all be good things, but as titles and labels are added to those good things, they can also turn into a mistaken sense of identity.
I desire for my kids identities to be wrapped up in who God says they are– not their rejections, not their greatest talent or attribute, not their looks, not even their accomplishments or performance. Their true identity comes back to who they are IN CHRIST.
Here are 7 important identity words to speak over your children:
You are accepted.
Remember that time you were picked last? Or that day you sat alone? What did you believe about yourself that day? Our kids need to hear, feel, and believe that they are accepted by God and by you. No matter how they perform. No matter what good or bad choices they make. No matter what- they are accepted.
Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. John 6:37 (The Message)
You are valuable.
I hear people ask kids all the time, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What would happen if we began asking, “what do you want to be (or do) right now?” Our kids need to hear that they are valuable now and that God can use them! Kids don’t have a junior Holy Spirit, and when He puts something on their hearts, they can be just as valuable in the Kingdom as the grown-ups.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation)
You are loved.
This is what my children will hear until they believe it– you are loved by me and you are loved most of all by your perfect Father. He chose you. He adopted you. He set you apart. He forgave you. Because HE LOVES YOU. And no matter what is happening around you, that literally cannot change. No matter how you feel– you are loved. No matter what anyone says– still loved. No matter how you see yourself– loved loved loved.
I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 (New International Version)
You are chosen.
Each of our children have been chosen and set apart for something. And not just anything! Something specific. Something only THEY can accomplish for the Kingdom. Yes, someone else can be a fill-in. If they don’t do “the thing” maybe God will send someone else. But there’s literally no one on earth like him or her. No one has the same DNA, character, and exact life experiences. God has chosen and adopted your children into His family.
You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. John 15:16 (The Message)
You are a child of the King.
I have a few “what if’s” for you! What if entitlement was replaced with a deep sense of belonging and an understanding of identity in Christ? What if identity is the weapon to combat entitlement? What if our kids really understood their place in the Kingdom of God and the responsibility that accompanies that? What if they truly grasped that they are heirs to the throne of the Most High King, that they are children of the God of Angel Armies, citizens of Heaven, and they have access to that amazing King and His resources? The God who chose them– oh, no big deal, but HE’S THE MOST HIGH KING.
So now, instead of always “deserving and getting,” they understand that if what they’re asking for is along the lines of what God’s doing in their lives and in His Kingdom, He’ll provide it. Now, they’re not entitled, but rather empowered to live in the fullness of who they are what they have access to! Entitlement fades. Identity wins.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession. 1Peter 2:9 (New International Version)
You are seen.
Our children are bombarded with technology, with schedules, with endless juggling and demands. They desire to be seen by you! It may feel uncomfortable at first, but look into his/her eyes and say, “I see you.” Like, I really see you. I see that you’re here. I see that you’re hurting or thriving or hoping. Or whatever it is. I see all that, but mostly I see the amazing kid underneath it all. It’s not in God’s nature to forget about you, and He sees you too!
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:16 (New Living Translation)
You are good.
Our kids will mess up. They’ll make choices that bother us or even (gasp!) shock us to the core. They may do a “bad thing” but they need to hear that they are still good. Whether they make a good choice or a bad one- they are called to righteousness and can always come back into right-standing with our Father!
I also want my kids to understand that even though we as humans mess up, God did not mess up when He made them. Not even a little bit. They are not a mistake. In fact, they are a masterpiece!
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation)
There are so many more identity words to speak over our kids! I bet you have some good ideas to add to this list! Pray and ask the Lord to give you a specific word for each child! And then share it. And share it again. And again and again. Until they roll their eyes because they’ve heard it so many times, but you know that when they turn around and walk away they’re grinning inside because they’re starting to believe it. And it’s empowering. It’s life-changing.