I sometimes still struggle with rejection and the hurt that comes from it. Knowing the height and length and breadth of God’s love for me helps me realize that what He thinks about me is what truly matters; I can rest in the freedom that I am secure in His boundless love.
How can we help our little ones experience this same thing? I am a mother of two boys, but I also am a mother of a daughter. I can identify with my daughter and her female emotions. God created females with a very sensitive nature. We value what others think about us and we can be easily wounded.
There is no set handbook for parenting. Every child is different, and likewise, every situation that arises is different. I’m learning as I go, resting in the promises of God’s Word and His daily grace poured out in me. I am hungry for His wisdom, especially when it comes to raising my little ones.
Here are some simple ways I try to remind my children that they are special and loved by God:
1. We can only control how we act
Remind your child that sometimes others will say hurtful things. It may be tempting to lash out against them, or to even push the hurt down in and not talk about it. This only makes us get bitter, angry, and sin ourselves. We can only control how we act; we can’t change the actions of others. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
2. Others who hurt may be hurting themselves
Explain to your child that many times, those who hurt others with their words or actions are hurting deep down themselves. Maybe they just need a friend? Maybe someone is being mean to them at home? Maybe they don’t know Jesus as their Savior and need to see the unconditional love of Jesus? Encourage your child to be a light and an example. Always stress the importance of being nice to others, including those who hurt us, and to show love even when a person may not deserve it. No one is perfect, and we all need to be shown God’s love. Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
3. Seek to please God above all else
Above all, we need to teach our children to seek to please God alone. What He thinks of us really counts. Seek to please Him first and pray that God will change the hearts of others. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 says, “but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.”
4. God created you unique and special
God created each person unique and special. While you were still in your mother’s womb, God was forming you to be just who you are! Get excited when explaining this to your child and reinforce that they are beautiful and loved, inside and out. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
5. Being different sets you a part
Talk to your child about what this world would be like if everyone was the same. Ask questions like, “wouldn’t that be boring?” Or, “what if everyone looked or acted the same?” Ask open-ended questions to spark a conversation with your little one. You may be surprised at how much you may find out in these little break out sessions. Remind them that being different is awesome and it is what sets them apart from everyone else.
6. Be confident and strong
We can all be confident and strong when we walk in the security of God’s love! I Am Loved by Sheila Walsh is a wonderful book that stresses to kids the importance of God’s great love for them. It is full of promises, praises, prayers, application and reflection that helps reinforce these principles. I love that the focus is on getting to know the One who made your child. I’ve read this book to my daughter and it has really helped her grasp the personal relationship God longs to have with her. God is our King, and He longs for that intimate relationship with us, and our children.
I love the personal touch of adding your own picture to the front of the book! My 7-year old daughter thought this was way too cool! Some of the sections of the book talk about: Livin’ the Princess Life (How to live life according to God’s Word), Royal Connections (How to live life with love and compassion), Faithful Love (Learn to trust Him), Perfect Princess Praise (Learn to worship Him in everything), Precious Promises (Reassurance of God’s promises), as well as Crafts, Games, and Recipes.
How do you help your child guard against peer pressure, or when kids feel rejection and hurt, to find security in God’s Love alone? We’d love to hear about some of your amazing ideas!