Reflections by Dr. Teston
A Fellowship Christian School Blog


Consider Our Identity

Dear Fellowship Family, 

I hope you'll indulge me in a brief exercise; imagine you and I have never met. If I were to approach you in a coffee shop today and ask you who you are, what would your response be? Seriously consider this question for a moment. If you were scripting your 15-second elevator pitch, what would you say? 

Perhaps your response would be something along the lines of:

"I'm a stay-at-home mom to three children." 

"I run my own [fill in the blank] business." 

"I work in ministry." 

"I'm the CEO of a Fortune 500 company." 

All of these answers are wonderfully descriptive, fully accurate, and offer me a glimpse into the way you view your own personal identity. But these answers define you according to labels and roles the world has assigned. How would our answers change if we instead paused to consider our identity or who we are in relation to whose we are? What if instead I asked you, "Who does God say you are?" How would your response change you and influence others if you were to answer as below?  


I am a child of God. (1 John 3:1) 

I am a saint. (Eph. 2:19)

I am blessed. (2 Cor. 9:8)

I am forgiven. (John 3:16)

I am reconciled. (Romans 5:10-11)

I am gifted. (1 Peter 4:10)

I am a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I am righteous. (2 Cor. 5:21) 

I am an image bearer. (Gen. 1:27)

I am an heir. (Rom. 8:17)

I was made on purpose for a purpose. (Eph. 2:10)

I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

I am chosen. (Eph. 1:4-5)

I am loved. (1 John 4:7-11) 


Let's consider this in relation to your children. Each day, your children are making choices about their identity. The way they dress, the language they use, the music they listen to, the friends they choose, the activities they participate in, the images they post - they are carefully crafting an identity. Are they intentionally looking up or looking around as they make these decisions? With eyes wide open and a heart to shepherd, we must empathize with the tension they face in making these decisions. While they can read God's word, they cannot audibly hear His affirmations of who they are in Him, but they can so clearly hear the compliments and criticisms of parents, friends, teachers, and strangers. If we're honest, we all probably give too much power to the identity others affirm or critique in us. It is easy for what is tangibly in front of us to distract us from recognizing God's fingerprint on our lives. How do our children reconcile what is true about their identity when the people they can see, voices they can hear, and texts they can read do not align with the truth of who God says they are? How are they to navigate the tension they face between a silent, invisible God and a loud, present world?

Parents, we all need to be intentional about reminding our children first and foremost of their identity in Christ. When we commend them, let us do so within the context of their God-given gifts as part of His design for their future. "You are so great at coming up with creative solutions to solve problems. I wonder how God will use that in your life." "You have such a gift for drawing. I can't wait to see how God uses that to bless others." "You are such an incredible athlete. God has undoubtedly given you those gifts to reach and influence others for His Kingdom." God has placed in them talents, gifts, abilities, and a wiring to reflect Him and to reveal their identity as individual image bearers. It is our job to encourage them to seek to understand how God intends to use their unique gifts and bents for His glory. 

We should also endeavor to model for our children what it looks like to have an identity rooted in Christ. Wrestling with identity is not a "one and done" scenario. This may be a battle we wage for years. As we transition through the various roles we play as parents or through changing careers, it is not uncommon to struggle with our own identity. With our words and actions, how do we model for our children that we seek to find our identity in the One who created us, knows us best, and established His plans for us in advance? Do they see us face transitions with peace? Do they witness us delighting in where He has placed us? Do they see us express gratitude for how He uniquely formed us? 

As we speak His truths over our children and ourselves, we need to encourage our children to let God speak these truths over them directly. The more they are in God's word, the more they will understand the character of God and understand who they are in His eyes. In a world that screams, we have to help them listen for God's whisper. We must help them connect the dots to see the enduring truth of God. Through the spread of Christianity, we have confirmation that the Jesus that said He's the same yesterday, today, and forever is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Having our identity and our children's identity rooted in Him is the foundation from which we navigate all other challenges.

My prayer this week for you and your children is that you gravitate less toward the identity the world assigns you and more toward the truth of who God says you are. In the identity He has given you, you will find peace, strength, and the confidence to be exactly who He created you to be. Also, I have provided some resources that I hope help to facilitate some great conversations with your children about their identity in Christ. 

Being found in Him, 


Dr. Kathryn M. Teston


 Resources to read with your children: 

ES: God Says I Am: A Biblical Affirmation Book for Kids by Gerald & Kiley Fadayomi

MS and HS: Defined: Who God Says You Are by Stephen & Alex Kendrick

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       Dr. Kathryn M. Teston