I get a kick out of watching my fourteen year old daughter hover between childhood and adulthood. As she matures, she experiments with clothing and hair styles, slang words, and all those other things inherent to the teenage years. We’ve had countless conversations about outfits, make-up, and jewelry, and have spent hours upon hours perusing clothing racks. Yes, her world revolves around clothes and hair right now.
Had I not spent so much time researching identity issues for a contemporary youth program I’m writing for Christ to the World Ministries, I may be tempted to think her behavior is selfish and shallow. Shouldn’t I be training her to look beyond those things? To focus on things more important? To an extent, perhaps, but I’ve learned to spend as much time trying to understand her heart as I do observing and trying to correct her behavior. Most often, there’s more going on than I first assume.
I’ve realized my daughter’s behavior really isn’t about clothes or hair. It’s about something much deeper. With every outfit, hair flip, and music choice, she’s trying to establish her identity. No easy trait considering how many changes she’s been through over the past three years. Puberty hits, and suddenly she finds herself staring at a stranger in the mirror. Friends change, and she needs to decide which group to “merge with”. She longs to belong but also needs to be unique, longs for closeness and security at home while fighting for independence.
Although most of us move past this developmental stage, I think we all struggle with our identity at times. As Donna Stone shared on Monday, sometimes we allow who we are to get tied up in what we do.
When that happens, it helps to remind ourselves of how God sees us. If you belong to Christ, He says:
You are dearly loved (Col. 3:12)
Redeemed (1 Cor 6:20)
A masterpiece (Eph. 2:10)
Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
God’s child (John 1:12)
Chosen and adopted (Eph 1:3-8)
Complete (Col. 2:9-10)
Secure (Rom. 8:11)
Are you feeling pulled in a million directions today? Like perhaps you don’t quite measure up? Spend a moment reflecting on these verses and ask God to show you how He sees you.
Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about what it means to rest in who we are in Christ.