Question: I try to consistently encourage my daughter to believe in herself and to recognize how very special she is. Yet, I watch her continually struggle with low self-esteem. How can I help her?
Answer: For many, adolescence is a time of discovery. It is common for young people to ponder who they are, what they believe to be true, and where they “fit in”. As a result, parents may believe it’s beneficial to assure their children of personal talents, beauty, and popularity to help establish their identity. However, your child cannot be assured that any of these qualities will be sufficient to meet the world’s standards or that they’ll last forever. In fact, these attributes can be lost in an instant. Consequently, training a child to invest in or depend on personal attributes can lead to eventual disappointment and insecurity.
God desires His children to find their complete identity in Him and the truth of His Word.
If your child is not yet a Christ follower, continue to pray that she will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Also, be a loving reminder of the confidence and security that knowing Christ provides.
Even if your daughter is a Christ follower, she may not have a clear understanding of her true identity in Christ. This could be the best gift you ever give your child! First, pray that God will give your daughter a teachable spirit and provide you with uninterrupted opportunities to communicate the following: (Keep in mind that every spiritual journey is a process. Therefore, it will be most advantageous if these truths are communicated over a period of time, allowing your daughter opportunity to fully understand and apply each principle.)
- God made each of us exactly as He desires us to be (Psalm 139:13-15).
- God appointed an exact number of days for each of us to live here on earth and has great purpose for our time here (Psalm 139:16).
- Our lives are of great worth to Christ—evidenced by the enormous price He paid for us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- God asks us to choose to follow His son, Jesus, and those who follow Christ will not look like the world (John 17:15-17).
- Because Christ has nothing in common with the world, those who follow Him will not be understood by the world nor fit its standards for living (John 15:18-19).
- Even though there are times we feel alone, we are never alone. God is always near us. Although others may forsake us, God never will (Hebrews 13:5b).
Helping your young person understand and walk in her true identity in Christ will enable her to experience the freedom and confidence that knowing Him brings.