About the power of labels and the better way to go

by | Apr 7, 2018 | Abouth faith, Education, Personal growth

As I mentioned in the last article I had some labels to strip off, in order to become who I am today.
Therefore I am well aware of the power of such labels.I know the cost of breaking out of the narrowness, into the freedom of the true riches of identity and with it true personality.
I hated my labels. I always felt they don’t meet who I truly am; they defined me but they din’t fit me.
They made me feel like I was trying to run, having the brakes on. It was slow and tiring.

These labels don’t even need to be a curse word or a diagnosis. It can be anything we use to define our children in a way lower than they really are:
Anything that limits their potential, their uniqueness and their capacity to mature and grow.

Anything we tell them while forgetting that they are wonderfully made, a blessing, precious and that they matter, their lives matter, their feelings and thinking matters.

 As a family we decided, that we want to teach them their identity. We want them to grow into adults who know their identity. Nothing less.
Therefore, everything we do, is with that purpose in mind: Let them settle in the truth of their identity.

What truth are we living by? What is our ultimate authority?
The word of God. The Bible. Their identity in Christ.
What does the Bible say about who we are?
Here’s a limited list of attributes about who we are in Christ:

BELOVED, A CHILD OF GOD, DELIGHTED IN, FORGIVEN, WASHED CLEAN, FREE, A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY, CO-HEIR WITH CHRIST, RIGHTEOUS, NEW, A SAINT, SET APART, AN AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST, A CO-LABORER, A SWEET AROMA, NEVER ALONE, A MASTERPIECE, BOLD, HAVING GUARANTEED VICTORY, HOLDING A SECURED FUTURE, WHOLE IN CHRIST, A KING, A PRIEST

Wow. How many times have those among my readers, who are saved, who believe that Jesus died on the cross, struggled to grasp this truth? Struggled to live by this truth? Struggled to integrate this truth into their reality, how they see themselves and others? How they perceive God, who is looking at them in love and satisfaction, as righteous and holy?
I did. And I still do in (quite) some areas.

You cannot live beyond your inner image.
Your inner image controls your life.

Ap. Everton Weekes

Now back to our children: Imagine calling our children “nice” labels like:

hyperactive, impulsive, distractible, daydreamer, lazy, inattentive, unpredictable, argumentative, stubborn, irritable, coward, rebellious, slow learner …

justifying it with the argument that, “well you know, he/she really is! I live with that child; I know what he/she is like!  This doesn’t change my love for that child at all!”

But now let’s compare these two Boxes.

BELOVED, A CHILD OF GOD, DELIGHTED IN, FORGIVEN, WASHED CLEAN, FREE, A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY, CO-HEIR WITH CHRIST, RIGHTEOUS, NEW, A SAINT, SET APART, AN AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST, A CO-LABORER, A SWEET AROMA, NEVER ALONE, A MASTERPIECE, BOLD, HAVING GUARANTEED VICTORY, HOLDING A SECURED FUTURE, WHOLE IN CHRIST, A KING, A PRIEST

… HYPERACTIVE, IMPULSIVE, DISTRACTIBLE, DAYDREAMER, LAZY, INATTENTIVE, UNPREDICTABLE, ARGUMENTATIVE, SUBBORN, IRRITABLE, COWARD, REBELLIOUS, SLOW LEARNER …

They don’t fit together, don’t they?
Let’s have in mind to teach our children their identity in Christ. Look at them how God sees us through Jesus Christ. Of course children will – the very same way we as adults do – many times behave very differently than that.
However, this is a behavior, an attitude, not who they are.

 

  • When our girl, when she was about 4-5 years old was lying constantly. We never Told her: You’re such a lyier! on one we hand knew that this had to do with maturity, but on the other hand we were telling her that we don’t like her lyinging. That we want to trust her. We want to be able to believe what she’s saying. And that she’s amazing, wonderful, loved and cherished, no matter what the truth might be she has to tell.
  • One of our babies was very sensitive to noises, lights, people etc, clinging on to me day and night, needing my attenting 24/7… I didn’t tried to find out what diagnosis would fit that behaviour. We simply gave him the time he needed, the warmth and security he needed, knowing that this was his need at that stage of his live. Today this child is very balanced, mature and it feels like all the investment has simply paid off.
  • One of our boys went through a period where he behaved like a wimp… we never told him: You’re such a wimp. Never. We were looking for occasions to build his confident that he could do it. That he was able. Strong. Courageous.
Let’s have this in mind: Any lable we give our children will stick with them. We are like “God” in their lives. We are like “prophets”, telling them what they will become. Who they are.

I am not saying we should close our eyes and pretend to only see the good. Maybe, there are moments where this good is very difficult to discover.

.

But let’s be these parents with that capacity of heart to see beyond these attitudes and behaviors of our children. Let’s speak the truth of God into their lives, Who they truly are.

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