By Sabrina Schlesinger
Years ago, when my kids where just beginning to talk, we began a practice that started with my husband when he was a boy. His dad would have him answer the question every day before he went to school, "Son, tell me who you are." To which Matthew would reply, "Matthew Schlesinger, boy of God."
He got tired of saying that day after day and year after year, but fast forward 20 years to when I was sitting in a room filled with young adults who were setting aside a year of their life to study the Bible and grow in their faith with God. I was a leader in the group, and this was our yearly tradition…to go away for a week and get to know all of the new students and hear their testimonies and how they ended up in this one-year discipleship school. This particular night it was Matthew's turn to share. I will always remember the words he spoke. He simply said, "I am here because I want to be a man of God."
He had grown up repeating "I am a boy of God" every day, and although in his young adult years, he made some mistakes and ventured onto some pathways that were not God's will, there was this voice inside of him that called out for greatness. It was the voice of God and his dad who had spoken identity into him his entire life. He now wanted to be Matthew Schlesinger, MAN of God.
So here we are now with four kids of our own and we ask our kids the same question every day.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is exactly what we are doing with our kids; training them in who they are and are called to become. Culture and society today says this is backwards and wrong. “They” say we should let our kids figure out who they are on their own! If they identify as a girl (and they are born a boy), then who are we to question that! Well, I am here to say I SHOULD QUESTION THAT! Why? Because I am their mother. God has entrusted them to me to steward and shepherd their little souls, to speak God identity into them and to lead and guide them in His ways.
Just as lanes and boundaries on the road keep us safe, so do words of identity. If we don't first know who we are and WHOSE we are, we will make dumb decisions. If you don't know something is valuable, then you won't do what is necessary to protect it. Our kids need to know this, and they won't stumble upon this by accident. This is our job and duty as parents.
So use your voice...speak up and speak life. Start now if you haven't already. Create in your home the culture of speaking identity, God thoughts, and words of encouragement and see if it doesn't begin to change the way they see themselves. I dare you!!!