Building Your Child’s Identity in God

A few years ago, I listened to a testimony at church and the man said something I’ll never forget. He said, “I never doubted God existed. I always believed Jesus came to this earth and that He is God’s only Son. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God. I didn’t believe He could love someone as broken as me.” As I listened to the man speak, tears formed in my eyes. Because I needed that reminder. I’ve walked with God most of my life, but I’d be lying if I said there were never days or seasons when my heart questioned if God truly cared for me. Why is it that when we’re waiting for a breakthrough or an answer to prayer, that’s when the enemy whispers in our ears? He says, “If God really loved you, this wouldn’t be happening” or “Well, you’re not getting the answer to your prayer because God doesn’t really care about you.”

This is what the enemy does. He makes us question God’s love for us. His lies drive us to doubt who God created us to be. And if we spend all our time questioning who we are and whether God really loves us, then we miss out on the purposes He has set before us. However, when we know exactly who we are as children of God, we walk in the power and authority He’s given us. We don’t waste time questioning if God treasures us; our hearts know it deeply. His hidden Word in our hearts shields us from the lies of the enemy. What a difference our identity makes in our lives. Imagine a generation where every individual knew exactly who they were created to be.

When children know who they are, they’re less likely to give in to temptation or become discouraged by life’s obstacles.

But like many areas in raising children, cultivating identity starts with us, the parents. Who are we? Whose voice are we listening to about our worth? The answers to those questions will determine what seeds we plant in our children’s lives. Uncertain parents can’t raise confident kids. For kids to develop a strong identity in Christ, parents need to understand their own identity first. Only one voice has the final say, and that’s the God of the universe. So, what does He say about us?

Faith Former: Pause and study the Scripture verses below.

We were created to do good works (Eph. 2:10).

We are loved deeply by the creator of the heavens and the earth (Eph. 3:18; John 3:16).

We were created with intention (Ps. 139:16) and in God’s image (Gen. 1:27).

We are victorious (1 John 4:4) and filled with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).

We are blessed with every spiritual blessing because we sit with Christ in the heavenly realms right now (Eph. 1:3; 2:6).

If you’ve never intentionally studied what Scripture says about your God-given identity, I highly recommend it. Memorize the truth, because the enemy will whisper partial truths into your ear. And the lies may not seem like lies at first because they contain an ounce of truth. The devil is a deceiver and a distracter. He doesn’t play fair. You must know the truth to have a solid rebuttal to his accusations. Jesus resisted the devil in the desert by knowing the truth of God’s Word. When the devil twisted God’s Word and tempted Jesus, Jesus always responded with “It is written . . .” He didn’t worship or pray the enemy away; He firmly and confidently spoke the truth of God’s Word. You and your children must do the same.

Life will throw us curveballs, some strong enough to knock us down. But at the end of the day, we decide what we want to pay attention to and what voice we want to believe. The final word on our lives belongs to God, not culture. The trouble is, having no idea who God says we are leaves us vulnerable to believing the lies the world tells us. Seeds of identity are planted early in a child’s life and growing them is a worthy endeavor. Kids who have a solid foundation of faith are better able to face the dark, scary world without losing their faith or integrity.

Intentionally build your child’s identity in Jesus. When children know who they are, they’re less likely to give in to temptation or become discouraged by life’s obstacles.


Taken from Unshakeable Kids: Three Keys to Raising Spiritually Strong and Emotionally Healthy Children by Lauren Gaines Copyright (September 2023) by Baker Books. Used by permission.

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