“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Isn’t that great news, Mom & Dad?! In Christ, all our failings and mistakes are covered in Jesus’ sweet grace and forgiveness. We are no longer defined by our past and our continual mistakes. Instead, we are a new creation. Covered in God’s grace and led by his gentle Spirit.
Since last week’s post, I have been pondering the importance of living with the knowledge of who we are in Christ. Why is it so important that we not place our identity on our children? And what does it even mean to place our identity on our children?
Our identity is who we are. It is the definition of being – us. Me. You. Our true selves.
No one knows us like Christ. He who created us, knows us. He defined, and continually defines, us. He, who is the embodiment of Truth, tells us the truth about ourselves. Yes, he knows us better than we even know ourselves.
When we place our identity on our children, we believe what they tell us about ourselves… such as when they say “You are mean” or “You are nice.” Or… we might not say that we believe what they say about us… but we let what they tell us or how they treat us carry too much weight in our lives impacting our emotions, actions, and beliefs about ourselves. Ever had those “I am the worst parent ever” moments at the end of a hard, challenging, awful day? (Yes, I am raising my hand right along with you). How long did you and I sit there and let that affect what we did the rest of the evening… or even the next day?
And because their view of us is fickle and ever-changing depending on whether or not they are getting what they want – our view of ourselves bounces around from wave to wave of their opinion. But they don’t know us any more than they know themselves.
And the problem with allowing ourselves to be tossed about by their view of us rather than living out of who Christ says we are, Beloved, is that then in hard, challenging moments
• We react rather than respond
• We react rather than teach
• We take personal things that aren’t (Paul David Tripp’s book “Parenting” was HUGE in exposing this common failure in my parenting. I’m sure I’ll share more about this in the future.)
• We care way too much how our children’s behavior “appears” to our peers (You might as well admit it. We all want others to think we are good parents.)
• And we are easily distracted from our mission to our children and to the world around us (Sounds like a good tactic of the Enemy, don’t you think?)
In all things, we should point our children to Jesus – who loves them infinitely more than we can with a love that never stops and never changes. But how can we do this if we are letting our children tell us who we are?
In this season of your life, what is Christ revealing to you about who you are? How does that knowledge impact your parenting?
Heavenly Father, you know who we are. You formed us. Psalm 139 tells us you knit us together in our mother’s womb. You know all about us. Teach us who we are in you. Teach us who you have made us to be. And help us to hear you above all the other voices in our lives that try to tell us who we are. To define us. And help us confidently believe what you tell us, that the knowledge of who we may form us into the parents you have created us to be. Thank you, Father. Amen.