Nicknames are a sign of affection and most of mine have a few that have come and gone over the years.
But one kid in particular has had many, many. And most of them at his own insistence.
When he was in kindergarten, he asked to be called Star, like a yippy little dog.
After deciding Marshawn Lynch was the best football player ever, he insisted on Marshawn.
Later his creativity drove him to write comics and he became his lead character, Nectoral Finn.
(Don’t spend too long on that one; it is 100% made up.)
Those nicknames speak of character and status. And wishful thinking.
But isn’t that what all of our kids do? They pick identities and try them on for size and comfort.
Tom Boy. Princess. Karate Kid. Superman. Math Whiz. Book Worm.
Sometimes our kids grow too tall for those names or change their minds about what they want to be associated with.
Those kids of ours need to be told who they are.
Who they really are. For always.
My kids and I have been reading the Scriptures for a few years, hunting for their true identities.
We never came across the name “Marshawn,” but we did find some mighty fine descriptions of kids.
Twenty things our kids need to know about their identities:
- I am completely and fully loved. (1 John 4:9-10)
- I am planned and chosen. (1 Peter 1:2)
- I am made right with God. (Romans 5:1)
- I belong to God. (1 John 4:4)
- I am God’s kid. (Romans 8:14-15)
- I am his heir. (Galatians 4:7)
- I am heard. (Psalm 116:1)
- I am thought about constantly. (Psalm 139:17-18)
- I am made in an amazing way. (Psalm 139:14)
- I am called by God. (Ephesians 4:1)
- I am created to do good things. (Ephesians 2:10)
- I am God’s partner. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
- I have a secret identity. (Revelation 2:17)
- I am a delight. (Zephaniah 3:17)
- I am in training and I am strong. (Psalm 144:1)
- I am forgiven. (Ephesians 1:7)
- I am at peace. (Isaiah 26:3)
- I am never alone. (Joshua 1:9)
- I am fearless. (1 John 4:18)
- I am powerful. (Romans 8:11)
If our kids believe these things about themselves, they will leave childhood ready for whatever challenges adulting throws at them. And we all know that life can hand out some doozies.
Our family has memorized an Identity Declaration because I believe in brainwashing our kids.
Only mostly kidding.
Our declaration starts off with the most important piece: I am completely and fully loved.
And then we set the stage. Why do they think they are loved? It cannot be merely because those kids decided that they are; they are loved because God says they are.
And if God says it, it must be truth.
But what if other people say differently?
What if they say differently?
What if they feel differently?
What God says about them is true. Period.
And every day, they chose to believe it above all else.
Here is our Identity Declaration:
When my kids and I read other identity verses and affirm that we are a delight or never alone or fearless, we change the last phrase of our declaration to match that identity.
I am a delight. I am never alone. I am fearless.
My kids need to be convinced of who they are and I’m guessing that yours do too.
Because we parents are all on the same team and do a lot of fist bumping and practically finish each other’s sentences, if this Identity Declaration would be helpful to your family, I would love to give it to you.
Along with this lovely and colorful print, both by Charli’s Web. Aren’t they so much fun?
Sign up for my blog subscription and I will send you the free digital files! (Click the Subscribe tab at the top of the page.)
Here we go, Parents!
You shout the truth to your kids and I’ll shout it to mine. By golly, this generation will know who they are!
Raising POWERFUL KIDS who know their true identities.
We are changing the world, one Nectoral Finn at a time.