Ask your daughter this question: “Who are you? Describe you.”
I work with teen girls and I’ve asked this very question. They nervously and giggly begin telling me what they excel at and enjoy.
I’m so and so’s girl friend. I play the piano. I draw and paint. I write stories. I am a dreamer, runner, friend, singer, student, soccer player, Spanish speaker, etc.
They describe attainments and roles.
What answers pop into your mind when you think about who you are? I find that we self-define in similar ways: I am a wife, mother, teacher, grandmother, speaker, artist, author, secretary, ministry wife. I homeschool, knit, grow organic food, vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, etc.
Although we play many roles in life, but this is not who we are. We are first and foremost a PERSON in a personal relationship with Christ.
Why does knowing this matter?
Because it’s a fundamental. Knowing who I am in Christ keeps me grounded and secure in His love and Word no matter what happens to me in life.
Ephesians is one of my favorite go-to Scriptures for spiritual identity. It tells us that in Christ we are
- blessed (1:3)
- chosen (1:3)
- adopted into God’s family as a son/heir (1:5)
- redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (1:7)
- forgiven of all my sin (1:7)
- lavishly given God’s grace (1:8)
- sealed and secure through the Holy Spirit (1:13, 14)
I am who God says I am in scripture. I am not the sum total of my roles.
- My husband is a blessing, but if he leaves, I am not diminished or loved any less by God.
- When my children leave home my job may change, but my purpose in life is the same: to live to the praise and glory of God no matter what I am doing.
- If we lose our house, or friends, or ministry, we will not be shaken because our standing in Christ can never be taken away.
I fear that we confuse roles for true identity and look for significance in what we do and how others relate to us in our roles.
Girls, you are a person first and your God wants a personal relationship with you.
You may never have a husband. Or maybe you will and he will walk away. At your core, you are still a person living in the presence of God. He wants a personal relationship with you first, before all of your other relationships. He wants your satisfaction to come from Him alone, not in your roles, your abilities, or your achievements. Keeping Christ central is essential to fulfilling your other roles in a godly manner.
We live in a world that is no friend to my daughters. It screams and promotes worldliness which is contrary to Scripture. The world peddles its goods to my girls, promising them satisfaction in everything and anything apart from God.
You have to flaunt it to be noticed. You’ll never be anything if you don’t look like this. Follow your heart, forget the rest. To be popular, you need to _____, and the more popular you are the better. “Likes” matter. You need to be extraordinary. The pretty girls are the thin ones. You need Botox. You need this brand to be popular. You need, you need, you need.
At its root, of course, the world promotes worldliness. It’s usually a self-centered, grasping, covetousness message meant to make you unhappy with what you don’t have and ready to do what it takes to get it. Covetousness is the very essence of worldliness. (James 4:4)
James 4 tells us that we crave, and strive, and war because our worldly passions are driving us to seek satisfaction in all the wrong places. “You desire and do not have, so you…war.” (James 4:4)
War is one response. When we sin to get what we want, we know we are acting on covetous desires. What lengths will you go to get what you believe will satisfy you?
James also tells us that our satisfaction is elusive. “You covet and cannot obtain so you fight and quarrel.” (4:2)
And mercifully, God is not willing to give you your covetous desires. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3 (envy, covetous motives.)
Why? Because God is jealous for your heart and wants to dwell in it exclusively. “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us.” James 4:5,
It all comes back to you and God. God wants your wholehearted devotion. He doesn’t want you to do great things for Him or be great things for Him. He wants you to love Him.
That’s what I want my girls to know this Valentine’s Day, because all of life and love starts there. If Jesus Christ doesn’t satisfy you, nothing ever will. When you are satisfied in Christ, your circumstances almost don’t matter.