We could fill a shopping cart full to overflowing with the many ways in which children’s self-esteem tanks below God’s view of them. The list is almost endless. The consequences of that list are almost as varied as the reasons behind the self-degradation that chokes the life out of them. I must confess that when I see a child with low self-esteem, it makes me angry. My mind races to the myriad of reasons this poor soul feels so bad when they look in the mirror. I want to go into a fix-it mode but as hard as I try, my medical bag of good verbiage and Bible verses often fails in cutting through the thick protective wall they have built around themselves.
I realize only God can heal the wounds caused by the lies they have accepted as truth. I also know that all I can do is pray and encourage. I must trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest. But, is there something we can do to stop it from happening or at the least counter the negative so that it doesn’t take root in their hearts. The optimism that resides in me quickly raises its hand and shouts at the top of its lungs…YES!
First, it must start in the home. Parents need to come to grips with the fact that words have a lasting imprint on the psyche of their children. If said often enough, words become ingrained in their children’s belief system and it holds on for dear life in the hands of the enemy of God and man. We as adults too often excuse our own careless conversations without one thought of the impact the words are having on our children. We know the tongue is very hard to contain, but what we need to understand is that words live on and we can’t simply suck them back in.
But now, the good news! The opposite is also true. If we as parents build our children up with true and affirming words about who they are to God and to us, this can also take root in protecting the fragileness of their self-esteem. If we are quick to spot and verbalize the goodness the Lord has weaved inside of them for His glory, it will bring tremendous health to their heart, mind and soul. There is enough in this world to tear them down so let’s be their champions and cheerleading squad!
Now, I know they can’t live inside our loving and affirming bubble! They eventually have to go out into this world which can often be cold, uncaring and hateful. But, we can help guide them to choose the right friends and put them in circumstances that naturally lead them to kids who are kind and well-adjusted without the need to put others down. That has to start when they are young and pliable. If you wait until they are teenagers to teach them this concept of choosing friends wisely, the battle will be much more difficult. But never lose heart because we serve a big God who is in the restoration business. He loves our kids more than we do!!
Let’s commit together to be on our knees on behalf of our children! Sometimes we use prayer as our last defense when it should be our first. The Lord will impart wisdom on how to help us teach our children to have a healthy view of themselves. He will give us words of truth to speak over them. The Holy Spirit still moves in the heart of His people so let’s ask Him to invade our homes so that our kids have a safe environment to grow into the person God always intended them to be!
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
Lord, we do find rest in You. Thank you for the way You have shared in Your Word about Your great love for us. Thank you for seeing us as Your children who were worth enough to You that Your Son died on our behalf. Please guard the hearts of our children. Put a hedge of protection around them so that the fiery darts of the enemy cannot penetrate. Help them to see themselves the way that You see them and not through the filter of this world’s lies! Penetrate our homes Holy Spirit so that our words are edifying to our family members and honoring to You. Amen