MONDAY PARENT DEVOTIONAL
(Insert eye roll or face palm here)
Ah, knock knock jokes. The Jar Jar Binks of comedy. Clumsy. Awkward. Cringey. Knock knock jokes are truly the worst.
But, everyone HAS knocked on a door and had a questioning response come through the door, “Who is it?” The person on the other side of the door truly wants to know who’s there. And, of course we automatically know the response . . . “It’s (fill in the blank with your name).” We know who we are and we have no problem identifying who we are to them.
I find it interesting that despite the fact that we know our names, there are times that we lose track of who we are. Most of our teenage years are spent trying to figure out who we are and who we’re “supposed to be.” Are we supposed to be who are friends are? Are we supposed to be who are parents expect us to be? Are we just supposed to figure out who we WANT to be? It can be very confusing.
Who we are is not something you necessarily should know right now. You’re in the middle of figuring that out. That’s what adolescence is all about. Growing . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually . . . developing who you are and growing into the person God created you to be.
But that’s the key. It’s knowing that you’re not alone on this journey of discovery. God is with you and wants to show you who you are and who He has created you to be.
Read the following Bible verses and see what God wants you to know about who you are becoming and why He created you!
“So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.”
God created you in His image. That doesn’t mean He created you to look the way He looks. God isn’t anthropomorphic (He doesn’t have a body). But He did create us in such a way that we have characteristics of God – ability to be in intimate relationship with Him and others. We can engage in logical reasoning, demonstrate intelligence, and have moral consciousness. We are capable of speech, creativity, rationality, and choice. And, as individuals who have all these divine characteristics, we are divine image bearers. We represent God here on earth.
Additionally, God has given humankind the responsibility of having dominion over the rest of His creation (vs. 26, 28). (This includes using creation wisely, responsible to the Creator for all that He has created.) This verse tells us that God created us for the purpose of being His image bearers.
It also tells us that He created us “male and female.” God clearly defined our gender identities as male or female. It’s tied to our biological formation and development. Your son or daughter doesn’t need to be confused about his/her gender identity. God never intended for him or her to be confused. Help your son or daughter embrace who God created them to be. Male. Female. God isn’t confused about who they are. You don’t need to be either!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
God spoke these words to the prophet Jeremiah and let him know that He had created him for a specific prophetic task. But the truth in the first part of the verse is true for all of us. It’s true for your teen as well!
God KNEW them! Before they were even born! They had an identity. They had personhood. And, God knew why He created them! They may not be a prophet like Jeremiah, but they have a specific reason that God created them. There’s a reason why they’re here!
‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God created humankind for the purpose of doing good works “in Christ.” Just as the obedient Son faithfully submitted Himself to the heavenly Father, we too should walk in the manner that Christ did. Doing good things that bring glory to God our Father.
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
The author of Ecclesiastes tried to figure out the meaning of life . . . money, women, parties, food, great accomplishments, etc. But he eventually figured out that he found his identity and purpose in being in relationship with God and following God’s laws and teachings.
Is your teen struggling with discovering they are “supposed to be?” It may be that they are seeking their identity in all the wrong places. Are they seeking to find themselves in on-line gaming or on-line relationships? In sports? In a boy or a girlfriend? In school or sports? They may even be trying to find their identity in pleasing you! Sometimes parents push their teens into pursuing interests that the parents have rather than their own.
Sometimes our kids think that mom and dad love them only if they participate or excel in the things that are important to the parent . . . sports, academics, etc. So, they spend an inordinate amount of time doing these things just to please mom or dad and seek to find their identity in those activities. Ultimately, it’s not healthy for your teen or you.
Spend some time in a conversation with God right now. Ask Him to help your son or daughter see their identify and value as His special creation.
Ask yourself how you are helping your teen find their identity in Christ. How are you modeling this for them in your own life? Are you helping them begin their journey of becoming the person that God has created them to be?
That journey begins with trusting Jesus to rescue them from their sin, repenting of that sin, and pursuing Jesus in all areas of their lives.
If your teen hasn’t trusted in Jesus as their Savior, what can you do to help them see Jesus in you and in your home, ultimately pointing them to their own relationship with Jesus. (Yes, making sure they are a part of their church is a part of this, but that’s only a start. Your church student ministry can’t overcome what you’re not doing at home.)
If your teen is showing signs of struggling in their biological identity look for ways that you can begin to teach them this important truth. (Your student pastor has some resources that can equip you.)