Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Self-Esteem Part 3: How to Provide a Biblical Self-Concept

So how do we apply this in parenting?   How do we provide a self-esteem that is biblical and not secular?  Teaching your child self-esteem is essentially teaching the Gospel. Here are the main truths that you want to teach your children to believe about themselves:

1. Love yourself as Christ loves the church. Ephesians 5:29
2. Know you can do all things (but only) through Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4: 13
3. None of us is "good enough."  And yet you don’t have to be “good enough” to be valuable and loved. Know that God loves you as you are.  We are not “good enough” on our own, it is only through Jesus’ payment for our sins that we are made “good enough.”
4. All people, including you, have value because God has given us value.
5. You are worth dying for because God loves you and not because of anything you did to deserve it. None of us can earn salvation– it is a gift from God Ephesians 2:6-9.  You are worthwhile but you are not worthy. You do not deserve Christ’s sacrifice. He died for you out of love, not out of your own worthiness.

Practical applications:

  • Honor your child by viewing him as a priceless treasure and treating him with love and respect regardless of whether or not his actions deserve it.
  • Don’t dishonor him with anger, sarcasm, unjust criticism, unhealthy comparisons, or favoritism.
  • Give grace to your child.
  • Show him the Gospel as an answer to mistakes, we need forgiveness and we need to depend on Christ every day.
  • Don’t compare her to other people in a negative or positive way.
  • Don’t teach him that he is better than other people.
  • Expect her to treat you with respect.
  • Do not allow him to boss you around in an inappropriate way.
  • When he sins, help him to face it and make it right.
  • Don’t push him to perfection.
  • Don't love her only for her achievements.
  • Love him in spite of his bad behavior and choices.
  • Honor his separateness and personhood, allow him to have his own feelings, thoughts, opinion and choices (age appropriate of course).
  • Don’t use guilt motivation.
  • Provide fair and consistent consequences for poor choices/bad behavior.
  • Deliver consequences in a godly and empathetic way.
  • Tell him every day that you love him and don’t add a “because”.
  • Show him his need for God.
  • Don’t withhold love as a punishment or for any reason.
  • Encourage him that he can accomplish anything, but only in the strength of Christ.  
  • Teach him to honor all people, including you and all authority in his life.
  • Teach him that he doesn’t need any talent, ability or good looks to be worthwhile because God has already given him value and no one can take it from him.
  • Give him your time and attention.
  • Be tender and empathetic when she is hurting.
  • Teach him that holiness is more important than happiness.
  • Teach her that we have nothing on our own to be proud of because God has given us every talent and ability.
  • Don’t treat them him the center of the universe, he is a valuable part but everyone is equally valuable.
  • Help her to embrace failure as a part of learning.
  • Encourage him to try hard things even if he can’t do it perfectly the first time.
  • Don’t set her up to expect perfection of herself.
  • Forgive him.
  • Give her physical affection often.
  • Give him verbal affirmation often.
  • Remind her that she is a sinner and needs God every day.
  • Don’t compare him to other people.

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