When I was in third grade, I had to squint to see the chalkboard, but I did not think much of it. That is, until I failed a test for the first time in school – the eye test. From there on out, I had to wear glasses. It subjected me to occasional ridicule from my classmates, but at least I could see clearly.
When we are young, we suffer from blurred spiritual vision sometimes. It takes a while for the world to come into focus. Even as adults, God has to fine-tune our spiritual prescription so we can see the world as He sees it. We also need help sometimes seeing ourselves as God sees us. We forget that we are loved and valuable. We have trouble seeing that God is proud of us – that He has put our picture on His heavenly refrigerator.
Giving our children spiritual glasses is one of our chief roles as parents. It is our duty to help our children see themselves the way God sees them and value the things He values. Instilling a sense of self-worth in our children takes deliberate action.
The world is ready to beat our kids down – to tell them they are worthless, that they are not good enough, smart enough or strong enough to make a difference. The world is ready to entice them toward choices that will lead them down a path to destruction. But we can help.
Our spiritual lives are much like our bodies. You have likely heard the saying, “put good in, get good out.” What we eat or drink, or how much we exercise, affects how we feel. In the same way, what we allow to enter our minds affects how we see the world, ourselves and others. This includes what or whom we listen to, what we see, where we go and what we do.
Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22 NASB). He also said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 ESV). In other words, we should be careful what we – and our kids – absorb from this world. Instead, we should fill our hearts and minds with God’s Word.
Our children will be influenced by someone. We can help ensure that it is not the world influencing them if we teach them early on that God made them, loves them and has a plan for their lives. We also have to make sure they understand early on the importance of Scripture.
What God says about our kids should permeate their lives. In my daughter’s room, she has a piece of art that reminds her that she is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 KJV). She has another sign that reads “I Am Loved” on her bedside table. It is my desire that these words will be buried deep in her heart so she will always see herself as one of God’s kids and live in a way that makes Him proud, no matter what others say or think.