Are We Lying (Part 1): Raising Resilient Adults

Do you ever struggle with the truth? Helping our children embrace the truth, especially the truth about themselves seems impossible sometimes.

On one hand, the popular opinion is that we should tell them they are special, they can do anything, and they can be anyone they want to be. As good parents we don’t want to stifle them or hinder them in reaching their potential, but should we be telling them such things?  

We’re supposed to believe we can state affirmations to change our destiny or create vision boards that bring our dreams into reality. We should teach our kids to believe they should follow their dreams and look in their hearts for the truth about life and themselves.

Ugh. Are we seeking the truth or writing a feel-good fiction?

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3, NLT)

Can I share with you what I believe the truth is? I think it is so important for us, for our children, and for the future of our world.

  1. You are special? We have so many children’s books on the market today that tell our kids this same thing over and over. We’re encouraged as teachers and parents to constantly encourage our children in how wonderful and special they are. Are they special? Yes, sort of. We are each unique. God knows us individually, and we must know Him as individuals. We are not special because of something in us that sets us apart above anyone else. We are not special in the sense that “at the core, everyone is good.” We know that is not true. We are not special in the sense that our gifting, talent, looks, charm, or whatever makes us better than another person. We are unique. No one else is exactly like us. God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13). He knew we were going to be born and would need a Savior back when He created the world.
  • Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem for Success? Self-esteem has been pushed on us especially since the 80’s. And if we don’t build our kids’ self-esteem, we cripple them in reaching their potential. However, it is a myth. We really don’t do our children any favors by building up their “self-esteem.” Building self-esteem is working to build narcissists out of our children. Narcissists think only of themselves and seldom have healthy relationships. We want to raise resilient, responsible, caring adults. We want to help our children follow Christ as obedient, loving disciples. Self-esteem creates the opposite of everything we want for our children. We have been fed a huge, horrible lie. 

The truth is if we want to raise resilient children who walk in truth and who become healthy, free adults, we must hold on to truth and not buy into the skewed concepts and deceitful lies of the world or of our own hearts. We can help our children understand their uniqueness that God has given them and help them find the direction God is leading them in their lives (Proverbs 22:6). We can help them understand they are completely loved and accepted by God who wants to forgive our sin and develop a loving relationship with each of us (Romans 5). We can help them understand that hard work is a good thing (Colossians 3:23-24). If they have a dream of something they want to achieve, then rather than flattering them and only cheering them on with platitudes, we can help them evaluate the course needed to realize their dreams or goals. We can encourage them to work hard and try. We can help them fail gracefully and keep going. These attitudes help our children become grounded and sets them free from the false fluff filling much of our culture today.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (Romans 12:1-3, NLT)

Want to learn more about this? Here’s a video about self-esteem:

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