Parents find themselves in partnership with their local schools and teachers to help today’s youth prepare for their futures. Not only are they trying to decide on a career path, they are also developing their identities and discovering how to live with integrity – all while building character in the process. Instilling and confirming our students’ identities is extremely important and will be a reoccurring theme throughout the school year. As we begin to consider identity, I’d like for you to consider Psalm 127:4:
"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth."
Consider the Psalmist’s word choice. He refers to our children as arrows – mighty weapons – and that is no mistake. God has great plans for our children. Just like children, arrows are not meant to be kept safe in the quiver. God wants you to eventually release that arrow to reach a destination and make a change in the world with the love of Christ. As parents and leaders, we get to be the primary launchers of the arrows.
The making of an arrow begins with the shaft. Every other part of the arrow must attach to the shaft. This part of the arrow is a lot like a child's identity. If a child's identity is warped – not straight and strong – his flight in life may be wobbly. Every person is born with a unique, divinely-imprinted identity, which I’d like to think of as a natural bend God placed in the arrow.
If we want to properly guide our children to a healthy self-identity, we must acknowledge and support the key areas of spiritual and emotional identity. We must communicate with them one of the most essential messages that they will ever receive: "You are made in the image of God. You are one valuable child."
Parent Life gives me the opportunity to instill this message into these young parents through small groups, Bible studies, mentoring, on-campus meetings, and more. Ultimately, we play a unique role in walking alongside our young parents, instilling in them who God has called them to be so that they can begin to instill it within their children and fulfill the God-given purpose for their lives.