Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 014 - Finding Identity
Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #014 – Finding Identity
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
Many parents I talk to question the job they’ve done with their children. Not one mother finishes raising a child and thinks she was a perfect mom. Why? Perfection doesn’t exist. Except of course, in our Heavenly Father. Think about that truth. Perfection exists only through the Lord, and as believers, we carry His power within us! Does that mean we suddenly become perfect? No, but it does guarantee we have His truths, discernment, and guidance to direct us.
So many variables play into parenting. Sometimes we make mistakes that need to be addressed or corrected; sometimes events happen that are beyond our control. Then there’s also free will. Just as our Heavenly Father allows each of us free will and the power to choose whether we will come to Him, our children have that same choice.
Mothers, as we are transformed moment by moment, our children gain the opportunity to witness the changes Christ makes through our surrendered life. As we pray for and with our children daily, as we read and study God’s word together, change is guaranteed.
Ideally, this relationship with our children and the Lord is started from our earliest time together. Am I saying that just because we’re working for the Lord life will be perfect and our days will be, too? Unfortunately, no. Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world. Sometimes it’s harder just because we are working for the Lord. That’s what parenting is. Hard work. Holy work. We are raising children to know, honor, love, and obey Him. That’s not easy and it is not completed quickly.
What happens if we invest in the work, yet our children leave our home as adults who don’t love or follow the Lord? We continue praying. We tilled the ground, planted the seeds, watered them, and brought them to the Source of Sunlight – Christ, to nourish them.
The more we allow Christ to work in and through us, altering us into the person He created us to be, the better opportunity our children will have for Christ to work in them. In fact, I trust that He is always at work, even when we cannot see or cooperate, but when we freely and lovingly ask for His hand in our life and the lives of our children, a sovereign and holy power is unleashed.
Remember when we spoke about free will earlier? It can be a tangly mess! Choice means there’s a multitude of issues that are totally out of our control and can affect our children in both good and harmful ways. Our child could see wonderful fruits of Christ in our life, but be touched by something entirely out of our, or even their control. Since we and our child have free will, that means the whole world does, too. You can bet Satan is playing that card well.
Look around at the culture we are raising or influencing children and grandchildren in today. The devil has free reign and is making the most of it. This is certainly not an age most of us would have chosen to raise children in. Yet God chose it for us. It’s certainly not a surprise to Him that we are parenting the exact children we have at this very moment. He is able to work through willing mothers in any time period and through any trials. He has each of us exactly where we are meant to be.
Christ is where we find our hope. In Him we trust.
As we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, not our parenting trials or our weaknesses, moment by moment, we gain His strength for another day.
One of the areas in which the devil has focused great attack in this generation is through gender and identity. I believe humans have always struggled with this area, yet right now, the children we are raising have many more questions and live with more confusion than we ever had to ponder. One look at this culture filled with deceitful groups, movies, shows, books, magazines, music, games, education, and social media with obvious agendas makes the truth of this situation indisputable.
Society tells us to look within for identity and validation. We hear that our feelings matter and that truth is subjective. When will these people pushing this lie realize that when there is flexible truth, there is no truth? As believers, however, we know that there is absolute truth found through God. His word tells us all our Heavenly Father desires for us to know and live by. Scripture is clear.
God is the Authority of Truth because He established truth.
Often, instead of relying on the truth of God, people craft identity through feelings or experiences. Obviously, what happens to us can shape our thoughts and personality, leading us to believe they form our identity. Sometimes we can also attempt to fashion identity by the way our parents or spouse treat us, through friendships, jobs, financial status, appearance, or gender.
Nothing we have chosen through earthly wisdom to be used as markers or validators of our identity is permanent unlessis what God has already established. Only our Creator and Heavenly Father, who intimately fashioned us with great thought and purpose can truly define our identity. Once we understand that truth and allow it to counteract the lies of this world, we build a strong foundation on which we can confidently stand and navigate this world of confusion and deceit.
Once parents can firmly stand in the identity they receive through Christ as Savior, we are able to mentor truth and confidence for our children to emulate. As we raise them to find identity, not in who this world tells them who or what to be or believe, but through Jesus, our children develop resiliency, faith, hope, trust, and confidence that will carry them through life and enable them to live the fullness of God’s truths.
What are the barriers parents must look out for and safeguard against in order to enable our children to live in freedom through true identity rooted in Christ?
1. Culture – The world our children are being raised in tells them that they can choose whatever sex they want to be. It also teaches that they may choose to identify as a cat, a dog, a unicorn, or any other object they desire. Will this give them contentment and peace? Not at all. In fact, studies prove depression and confusion are usually the result of believing and traveling this route to identity. In the moment, the person may feel satisfaction in diverting attention to something different, however, just as happiness is fleeting, the high they receive from a perceived change of character or gender dissolves and the issues they struggled with inside are still present and in many cases have worsened as time passed. Scripture tells us in Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Another excellent verse to teach your children about identity is found in Jeremiah 1:5a, which says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” God knew every single one of us before we were in existence. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Scripture is clear that identity is known before we are even created. That means our sex and how we identify is already setand seen at birth. Remember how we feel is not an indicator of truth – God’s word is. When we live outside of His guidelines, (whether we are believers or not), we do not experience joy and peace, as well as other fruits of the Spirit that Scripture reveals. God also crafted specific details within each person that include interests, talents, gifts, intelligence, and more. Some people like to justify things they do by saying, “God just made me this way,” but God never makes anything or anyone contrary to what His word says. Sin in this world causes the evil and confusion, not God. If it is not in alignment with His word, don’t do it or believe it. That is why it is vitally important for us to teach our children God’s truths and equip them to be in God’s word from as young as we have them. It also means we must be diligent in maturing our personal walk with Christ daily. Remember Ephesians 6:1-4, which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Simply teaching our children what religion we believe, but not living it before them daily will do nothing. A loving, humble, maturing, obedient walk with Christ is what makes our children pay attention and helps them to choose to live the same lifestyle of humble love for and obedience to God.
2. Peers – Indoctrination through educational institutions, books, magazines, television shows, movies, music, games, and social media is worse than ever. It has been building for years and will continue to cripple and destroy the future of our children or grandchildren unless we see the destruction taking place before us and decide to change it. Peers have an incredibly powerful effect on children, especially when they are also being indoctrinated, yet a strong family centered on and growing in Christ together is still much stronger, because it is built on and operating on the strength and promises of God. Colossians 3:1-3 says, “Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Remember we do not have to fight in our own strength. We must stand in faith with our Heavenly Father, claiming the victory Christ promised to those who believe. God has given us everything we need to stand in His power and allow Him to do the work. Ephesians 6:10-18 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
3. Deceit - Satan will do all he can to disarm, distract, and dissuade us from fixing our eyes on the Lord and staying connected to Him through prayer, praise, and God’s Holy Word. When we listen to self and world instead of God, we are unknowingly choosing to be deceived. Emotions and feelings are valid because they are a part of us, but they are based on experience, peer pressure, ignorance, confusion, and more, but not God’s truths. Seek scripture or be confused. Don’t believe or act on what is contrary to God’s word. Teach your children the same guidelines. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
4. Sin – Since the beginning of our existence, man has easily fallen into sin. Our desires, wants, pride, ignorance, and jealously war against what God has for us or calls us to do. Again, the way to combat this within ourselves and our children, is to develop a faith walk through Christ that leads us to honor our Heavenly Father and to make the right choices and believe the right thoughts, because what we think, do, and say is based on the truth of Scripture. In order to help our children live without sin, we must set a godly example and also teach them to love and honor God so that they desire to honor and obey Him. When we train them in Him and His truths, their worldview is transformed to be as Christ’s as Scripture becomes their compass. They learn to value and expect God’s truth in life and will strive to walk in alignment with His callings, as they are less likely to be deceived by culture or society. John 16:13 says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Psalm 119:160 says, “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”
5. Feelings – Just as we discussed in point # 3 – Deceit, our feelings, thoughts, and emotions are not a gauge to trust. We must be diligent in the Word so that we believe and act upon this truth and make it evident to our children through our actions, reactions, and words. They must learn early to view self and world through God’s eyes and truths. Continue to value their opinions, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, but always compare them against Scripture to see whether they are in sync with God’s will and ways. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Have you noticed the recurring themes?
Jesus, God’s Word, and Truth as established by our Heavenly Father.
Mothers, we must teach our children by example and through God’s word that because of the sacrifice of Jesus, and what our Heavenly Father says about us, they have a secure identity that no one can steal or change, ridicule or deny because it has already been established with ultimate authority. Our children have power over indoctrination, culture, peers, deceit, sin, and self through Christ and the Holy power of God’s Word.
Identity is confirmed by our Heavenly Father.
Our world lives in sin and needless pain, suffering, and confusion because we do not read, study, and recognize God’s truths. We do not stand in His power and allow Him to combat the evil and deceit that plague us. Don’t let that be the legacy your child inherits.
Today is the day to study God’s word more clearly, pray more consistently, hear with ears ready to listen, and move in humble obedience to the calling of God. Today is the day to lovingly and patiently mentor your child to do the same so that they will live the identity God has ordained for them.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your goodness overwhelms us. Your faithfulness gives us joy. Thank you for Your long-suffering and kindness. Thank you for Your Son, Jesus, for He makes all things new. He gives us eternal life. He gives us the way to You. He enables us to teach our children Your ways and makes You known as never before. Father, we praise you because we know we are fearfully and wonderfully made; our children are fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, we know that full well. Help us to remember and teach our children all You desire so that they grow in the fullness of Your truths. Stop the indoctrination that has overtaken our society. Help our children to find respite in and through You. Help us and help them to put on your new nature, help them understand that they were created to be like You—truly righteous and holy. Help them claim all You have for them. We know You have engraved them on the palms of Your hands; You say that if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! We claim that for our children and the generations to come, for we know that You have made us and our children Your handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which You have prepared in advance for us to do. We praise Your name, Dear Father and we thank You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. The Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast is now available at terrihitt.com, where you can access the episodes housed in one convenient location, receive access to blog posts, read transcripts, and find additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and equip you to raise or influence connected children through Him.
God knows that we are not capable of successful parenting on our own. As we rely on Him, releasing doubts and expectations, and humbly bow to His guidance and experience, we find greater clarity in parenting and a wondrous walk with our Creator that will extend to our children and those around us for generations.
I pray this podcast helps you parent with purposeand deepen your connection to Jesus and your children as you intentionally place Christ above culture or self. Allow Him to work through you for true connection that will draw your children to Him and build a maturing relationship with Christ and your child that lasts for eternity.