As my children were younger they enjoyed watching Veggie Tales. I have felt conviction while watching those with my children. I think the reason why is because I am always going to be a child of God, and He is always going to teach me through whatever He so chooses.
I had the privilege to teach 8 - 11 year olds this last Sunday! I knew exactly what I wanted to teach on immediately when I had signed up for it. I desperately want children to know their value in Christ! I want them to know that they are unique and have gifts which God had put inside them from the very beginning! Everybody has a purpose, and we aren't to want to be like everyone else. What I had done for them was create a TRUTH journal. I was careful to make them each unique in design. I gave them a red pen to write in it. Why red? Because, in the Bible, whenever Jesus spoke, it was in red. This journal is going to be filled with the TRUTH God speaks, and has spoken, of who we are! I won't go into the details of the full lesson, unless you ask me to. :)
However, I want to share with you just why this topic stirs such passion within me.
When I was around the age of 8, I struggled to find my identity. I struggled to see my value. Being the youngest of four, I constantly compared myself to everyone. The things that are irritating to people, the things that impress people. I observed. Of course, I can only share my perspective. My siblings will tell you otherwise, I'm sure.
My sister, the oldest, is the one that set the bar high when it came to intellect and responsibility. I knew I could never reach that. I couldn't even keep my room clean!... I still can't! But that's a whole other story. I also couldn't read and study and retain so much information. The very thought of it all overwhelmed me!
Take note: I had formed the thought that I would never measure up and be taken seriously because I lacked her abilities.
Moving on to my oldest brother... what I noticed about him was that he was so independent. He seemed to not really be bothered by what other people thought of him. Sure, he went through difficult phases, but he really protected me from seeing most of those phases. He was, and still is, a generous brother to me. I always felt safe with him. I don't ever remember fighting with him. Yet, he did get in trouble a lot. So, seeing him, I felt that being yourself is harder and less acceptable. Unless you are a piece of perfection.
Please, keep in mind that these are all perceptions as a child. Of course, now, I can understand the growing process is not an easy one and correction and discipline are a must! But, as a child, I did not have that reasoning. And, therefore, my mind and behavior was molded by my experiences and observations.
Now, my other brother, closest to me in age... to him I was that bratty little sister. To me, he was a vicious instigator. He would constantly do things to upset me. And, when I'd cry, he'd laugh at me. I thought he was pure evil! He would tell me I was adopted. I rarely remember getting along with him, as kids. We are fine, now. And I absolutely love him! Back in the day, though, it was tough. I felt bullied. I felt abused. Now, take note of this: The negative attention tends to outweigh the positive. We are more inclined to believe the bad things about us rather then the good.
I won't go on to describe every relationship I've ever had and how it affected me. I know, you may be surprised by that. ;)
I have been trying to unlearn twisted views I have carried with me since childhood. I believed so many lies about myself and where my value lies. I became drawn to unhealthy relationships because of it. I went through horrible depression. And so much more!
Who's really to blame? Our battle is not with flesh and blood. The easiest way for the enemy to attack us is through our thoughts. It's really that simple.
So, it's hard to teach on something that hasn't had a major effect on you personally. I want to do all I can to pull the vale from these precious children's eyes! I want to not only expose the enemy and his tactics, but I want to help equip them and stand by them in battle against the enemy! How do you battle lies? With truth!
We must edify one another in Christ! Children have specific functions in the body of Christ, too. And they are even more of a threat than us adults, I believe! Imagine if we all, young and old, walked in the authority of Christ! It's time! And our children learn by example. Let us be imitators of Crist so that we teach our children to do so as well. If you aren't pouring into your child truth and love, you better believe someone else is pouring in the garbage and lies. I understand we fail as parents everyday. I know I do. But it's never a wrong moment to turn it around and love on your child! It may take a handful of pride pills to swallow, but it will make for a healthier relationship - I promise!
I challenge you, today, to go out of your way to love someone you have been struggling with recently. Because love conquers all!