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Our Identity In Christ
In my 15 years of experience in children’s ministry, I’ve noticed a pattern related to our identity in Christ.
As we share Jesus with children (and newer believers), we tend to use the same verbiage over and over again. Some would use the term “Christianese” to describe the language used in Christian circles and in ministry.
In the church, this language begins when our children are young.
We start intentionally teaching preschool-age children using and repeating key phrases. We choose specific truths from the Bible and repeatedly use those ideas to convey the message of the Gospel.
“Jesus is your friend forever.”
“God loves you so much.”
“When you are afraid, you can trust Jesus.”
As our children grow older, we may beef-up our language.
“Do all things through Christ Who strengthens you.”
“You are covered in Christ.”
“Know who you are in Christ.”
Truth of Scripture- Yes!
The key wording we use to express biblical ideas are wonderful and based on the Truth of Scripture. However, I’ve observed a shortcoming in our efforts to grow our children (and often new adult believers) in the Truth of the Gospel. The apostle Paul reminds the early church:
“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.” 1 Corinthians 3:2
By the term “milk” Paul is describing the way in which he initially shared the gospel with the church.
Specifically, that when he first told this new church about the good news of Jesus, he approached them with what they could digest at the time. The milk he shared with them were the basic truths about Jesus.
An example of the milk we may share with children in our modern churches might be:
“Jesus is your friend forever.”
Reminding our preschoolers and younger children of this is such a great thing! It meets our kids where they are and this is awesome!!
But… this is just the beginning.
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The truth of God’s love for His people is expressed in these simple expressions that we share with young children. These basic truths are the foundation of our faith. Using this basic language with our children is the crucial foundation to a deeper understanding of the gospel.
Paul would not have used the term “milk” to describe the way he presented the Gospel during the infancy of the Corinthian church if it were not appropriate to do so.
However, the pattern that I have seen often in the church (and that includes me) is that we fail to move from “milk” of the Gospel to the “meat.”
This lack of depth was glaringly obvious in my own home one evening a few years back.
He Uses All Things For the Good…
My daughters had both entered the world of navigating their own friendships. That evening one of my girls was struggling with a hurt relationship and feelings of rejection.
It was one of those moments in my momma journey that I’ll remember for a long time.
How I wished that I could “fix” it and take away her pain!
That power was and is not mine. I comforted her as best I could but ultimately, I had to point her to Him.
What do we want our children to absorb?
Here’s the deal… our children are going to grow up receiving a multitude of ideas. What do we want them to absorb?
Do we want them to soak up the expectations of a world which tells them that to be valuable they need to:
- Be a certain size,
- Wear a specific brand of clothing,
- Have the latest phone and
- Avoid the uncool and unpopular in fear of being ostracized by their peers?
The Truth of Their Value
As Christian parents, we want them to know the beautiful truths of Scripture.
Furthermore, don’t we want them to grow more deeply in their understanding of the truths we began teaching them when they were young?
So many of us say that we want our kids to know the love of Christ. We fiercely want them to know what it means to be in relationship with Him.
However, as I realized in my own home that night, we are going to need to be intentional if we want to truly equip them.
“Who you are in Christ is what matters,” I told her.
“Remember who you are in Christ,” I would implore with both of my girls.
Behind closed doors, I desperately prayed for both of my girls to know how loved they are by God.
Earnestly, I pleaded with God to allow my children to know their value because of Jesus.
I begged Him to make their faith their own, to please give them the gift of knowing who they were because of Him.
Suddenly, it hit me.
- Who am I in Christ?
- What exactly does that mean?
- Do I even know who I am in Christ, Lindsay?
- How do I expect my children to cling to that truth of their Identity in Christ if I am not exactly sure myself?
I need to find the verses of Scripture that tell me more about my Identity in Christ.’
Did I Know My Identity in Christ?
I had been in church for almost three decades prior to that night. In depth Bible Study, line-by-line inductive study, was my jam for years.
I knew a lot of truth and a lot of the Bible. In fact, I had chunks of Scripture memorized because my girls and I had made Scripture memory work part of our homeschool time.
Yet, when it came down to it, I really wasn’t clear of the specifics.
Where did that idea come from?
How could I equip my girls to know deeply that their identity is found in Jesus alone?
No longer were the illustrated picture story bibles going to do. So… I did some digging with intention and created these Scripture printables.
The Offensive Weapon
It was time to teach them to use God’s Word as the offensive weapon it has the power to be.
They needed to guard their minds against the lies of this world.
It was time to equip them on a practical level, with the Sword of the Spirit.
On A Treasure Hunt
I created a personalized printable of the Scriptures for each of my children and framed and displayed them in their rooms.
These reminders have been a source of strength for each of them as they navigate the world.
Initially, I had them read aloud straight from the printable so as to embed the truth deep in their minds.
Repetition is an awesome and simple memory tool.
To this day, when I sneak in their rooms to get one more snuggle before bed, I use it as a tool. I pray the Scriptures out loud over them and now over my son.
Identity in Christ Scripture Download
Oh Friend, I am convinced that all of us need to know who we are in Christ.
Often, we need encouragement and practical tools to help us remember. This is ok.
There are incredible blessings that come from having our identity based on Christ and not on what the world says about us.
However, it is almost impossible to recognize and live in that freedom if we don’t know what Scripture really says about it.
Let’s equip our kids and ourselves to face this world with confidence because of Jesus. We are in this together!
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- Repeat them aloud at mealtimes
- Insert your child’s name while praying with them at bed time.
- Share them with one another in the car.
- In the hard moments, refer back to those Scriptures… tease through them with your children.
Equip Your Children with The Truth
May God’s Word be the loudest voice you and your family hear each day.
Do you have any creative ways and ideas that have helped you and your family deepen your faith?
Please comment below and share. We are in this together!