Live Loved: Don’t Beg for Scraps
As a writer I find much of my inspiration from the words of others. This summer I’ve been reading ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’ by Lysa TerKeurst. These words from her book pierced me as I read them: ‘Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love‘. How perfectly they fit as we continue our summer spotlight on our three main areas of focus this posts being: emotional self esteem.
This is what we want for our I Matter Too children. We want them to live knowing they are loved by God. When we help them find that abundant love we address as a result their self esteem. Self esteem is such a huge part of our identities and we know from 1 Peter 2:9 that we are: ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession’. This is the answer to living loved and never begging for scraps.
All of us have experienced the sting of rejection. When we find our identity in the approval, opinions, or actions of others these rejections profoundly affects our self esteem. In her book Lysa TerKeurst says this: ‘the exhausting manipulation and control it takes to protect an identity based on circumstances will crush our hearts and hide the best of who we are behind a wall of insecurity’.
Protecting their identities as our children deal with abuse, neglect, and instability when removed from their homes will effect their self esteem. We can’t allow that to be their only story, their only identity. If we do they will grow exhausted of trying to protect their identity and fighting insecurity. The answer to a stable identity can only come for our children and ourselves in this: who Christ says we are and how he loves us.
‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called Children of God! And that is what we are’ – 1 John 3:1
Self Esteem: In Christ Alone
Let us encourage you to share with your I Matter Too children and if you have them your own children the rejections that you’ve faced and the lies that rejection has fed you as a result. Use this as a tool to open up the line of communication so that you can share what and who God says they are. Unfortunately, we can’t undo the hurts in our own lives or those of our children. We can’t always prevent more hurt or disappointment either. What we can do is speak life and truth into our children as well as ourselves. No matter that people tell them Christ tells them: they are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), they are loved (John 3:16), they are known (Psalm 139:13), and they are included (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We are wired to desire love and acceptance. Each of our children at I Matter Too have experienced rejection, hurt, abuse, and loneliness. As we work to help them build emotional self esteem we must know that the only place we can find steady, perfect love is in Christ. If we build our identity on the words and actions of other people we will experience a lifetime of insecurity. We must know who God says we are and we must live in the abundance of His love to be fulfilled. This summer focus on encouraging your I Matter Too child to know, understand, and embrace who and what God says they are.