There has never been a time in history where self-esteem has been more of a focus. You can’t walk through an elementary school hallway or enter a psychologist’s office without hearing about the importance of our children having self-esteem.
I say it’s not working. In fact, I think it is making things worse! Focusing on ourselves was never our Designer’s plan! Focusing on ourselves only leads us into a downward spiral!
Suicide rates have been climbing amongst teens despite all the world’s efforts to raise self-esteem. In an article by NPR they said: “There is one age group that really stands out — girls between the ages of 10 and 14. Though they make up a very small portion of the total suicides, the rate in that group jumped the most — it experienced the largest percent increase, tripling over 15 years from 0.5 to 1.7 per 100,000 people.”
These poor girls. They aren’t being pointed toward a God who loves them and sent His Son to die for them, they are being pointed toward a mirror and told they are beautiful and that they need to love themselves. That doesn’t work because we were made for a much greater love. We were made to direct our love and worship toward the Creator of the universe, not toward ourselves. In other words, self-esteem is really turning into a form of idol worship giving the praise and focus to the wrong person.
Our children don’t need more self-esteem, that is an endless, vain pursuit. We were never meant to esteem ourselves but to esteem Christ.
May we repent of encouraging our children to be confident in themselves and help them place their confidence in the One that will never let them down!
Am I saying you can never say an encouraging word to your child? No. But I feel like the emphasis is in the wrong place when it comes to raising our children. The focal point of our hearts and minds is to be on Christ. If you want to encourage your children while making sure that their confidence is in Christ alone then go for it!
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:2
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10