Although my quote for today’s blog is not from the Bible, I believe it to be nonetheless very appropriate about self-esteem. Just what is self-esteem? Essentially, it is the way a child thinks of himself/herself. As Christian parents, what can we do to build self-esteem in our children? We, of course, do not want them to grow up to be conceited and self-absorbed but there is a balance between healthy self-esteem and an inflated ego that we should understand.
First, we need to know and fully appreciate how God sees us and there are a number of Bible verses that show us that God sees us as very special. For example, Genesis 1:27 says that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him”. Psalm 139:14 says “(f)or You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” In Ephesians 2:10, we are described as “God’s masterpiece”. Since He created us as such valuable, superior beings, we should see ourselves that way.
Second, it is important to make clear to our children that they should not rely on anyone’s praise from day to day to have self-esteem. We, as parents, may praise our children some days, but not on other days. Also, other people may not praise them, but in fact, may say negative things to them. Their self-esteem and confidence should derive from God, who is always consistent and loving, and not from humans. Help your children learn and memorize Bible verses that mention how special they are. It is the Word of God that will serve as the foundation of their confidence.
Third, each child has different strengths. Focus on building those strengths. Remind them that all their gifts and strengths come from God. James 1:17 (“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”).