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The world calls encouragement of our children "building self-esteem." But the focus of the world is on "me," not on Jesus Christ. In the world's thinking, all that counts is "what I can do" and "who I am." But that's not true self-esteem.

The Bible says we are all sinners (Rom.3:23). We needed the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7). Our righteousness was no more than filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). Without God's forgiveness, we were condemned and on our way to hell. But when we accepted Jesus Christ, He gave us His worth.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons [and daughters] of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).

This is where true self-esteem and worth come from: our being sons and daughters of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:15-17). Like the apostle Paul, we can say: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).

As a parent, if you are walking around today with a load of hurt inside you, kicking yourself and putting yourself down, feeling like you aren't as good as the rest of the world, you need to take a hard look at what the Word of God says about you.

Every time those negative thoughts come to your mind, rebuke them. Quit believing them, Start telling yourself what the Bible says about you. Start believing that you are who the Bible says you are, not who the world says you are.

How sad it is for the child who "gets it" from everyone, even his own family. His home isn't a place of refuge from the cruel world. His parents aren't his friends and defenders who believe in him and encourage him.

There have been many Christian homes where the parents didn't put their children down, but they didn't build them up either. They just failed to teach them who they are and can be in Jesus Christ.

We have to see our children the way God sees them.

We have to teach our children what the Word of God says about them. We have to help our children find the special gifts God has given them and the plan He has for their lives.

We have to help our children develop according to how God wants them to grow.

If we as parents fail to do these things, the consequences can be tragic. So many kids are messed up today because no one really taught them about God. No one ever prayed with them, talked with them and really listened to them. No one ever taught them who they are in Jesus Christ.

Yes, they are loved, but the message the world gives them may seem louder and stronger than the message they get at home. The world tells them they are unacceptable and unlovable, ugly and bad. And somewhere along the line, if they believe those lies, they may give up. They may quit trying.

This is why so many of our young people are using drugs and alcohol, why so many girls are starving themselves to be beautiful, why so many are getting pregnant. They can't seem to say no to the world's crowd that wants them to take drugs or who promises love in exchange for sex. They don't know how to cope.

But we parents can make a difference. We can help our children grow up to be men and women of God.

Source: How To Raise Your Kids In Troubled Times by Buddy & Pat Harrison.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Buddy & Pat Harrison
Web site: Pat Harrison Ministries
Buddy Harrison and his wife, Pat, were co-founders of Faith Christian Fellowship International Church. He served as president of the organization from 1978 until he went home to be with the Lord on November 28, 1998.

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