If you have a healthy self-esteem, your children will have a healthy self-esteem.
Simple as that. Who we are, will always trump what we say, to our kids. You may feel that I am ignoring other important variables, however, I have personally seen this proven with my parents, with my wife and I as parents, plus the dozens of families, fathers, and sons I have worked with over the past 18 years.
If you’re still reading this, and your thinking “Fine, you have my attention- I really want my kids to have positive self-esteem, but, I really don’t like myself, the way I look, my behavior or attitude, etc.”… then I encourage you… read on!
The foremost important fact I hold on to is that we are God’s most precious creation. And He never quits on His best creation that easily, so neither should we!
In Matthew 6:22-23 – Jesus said: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
I have learned (often the hard way) that who I am, dictates what comes out of me. Since all children are sponges, soaking up every reaction, feeling and sensation around them, especially our own kids, who we are, speaks far more effectively to them than we can ever fully appreciate. When you turn inward and look at your attitudes, thoughts, decisions, and feelings… do you feel light and joy? Or perhaps you find resentment, darkness or shame? Maybe, all of the above given the day or moment?
I see societies across the globe convincing us we must submit to God’s (or gods) love and serve our family and neighbors, AND be humble. However, I don’t see society asking us for our self-humility, instead, it demands our self-deprecation. I believe humility is a state of knowing who you are as a person. For example, I am a good writer and gifted public speaker, however, I am a terrible organizer and a horrible musician. I am not bragging or self-deprecating, I’m just stating the truth.
Shame is turning our fists inward and beating on ourselves. It’s been further perpetuated by phrases such as, “I’m not worthy” or “Oh yeah, well, if I were that good, I would have done more in …..” or one I’ve heard misused over and over when someone is complimented on a job well done is “Yes, but only by God’s grace!”
Listen. We are and have always been incredible, powerful and beautiful… even before we knew Jesus! (Before you take me out back to stone me, let me explain and prove it!). A relationship with Jesus, through His death and resurrection, makes us perfect in the eyes of God ensuring our place in His book of life! Amen and thank you, Jesus! However, Genesis clearly states that He made us ALL (any human ever) in His image.
We are made like God! And God is perfect! So, since we’re made in His image, our earthly potential is incalculable. (Remember, the tower of Babel… God had to break it up by confusing all the languages; because HE said “(otherwise) nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”). God made us with all the beauty and power of a Kentucky Derby racehorse, but we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that we’re merely equivalent to pack mules.
So, if there is at least one thing I hope my two kids will learn from me and how I view myself, it’s this…they are God’s number ONE creation, endowed with God’s power and with the capacity of accomplishing anything! However, once again, the catch is that in order for me to show these principles to them – I must first learn to walk them out in my own life! How about you? Will you join me?