**This is the second part to the post from last week.**
We all have people in our lives that “rub” us the wrong way. I am sure I am one of those people to others. I even annoy myself sometimes. Personalities are so diverse they clash. Its simply the nature of our humanity.
Think back to middle school. The years where we are experiencing more feelings than we know what to do with. No one knew what to feel or how to act. I remember melting in a puddle of tears in fifth grade (middle school was 5th-7th) because I didn’t like my assigned adult chaperone on our upcoming field trip. Ridiculous.
In my daughter’s middle school, there is one of those girls who relishes in building herself up while knocking others down. My daughter, thankfully, keeps her distance. In this young lady’s life, either you aid in building her up as her “friend” or you stay out of her way because you don’t want to be involved. We have seen, however, that a friend is only a friend as long as they continue to serve in her gratification.
Heavy stuff for middle school, but I have heard about her from day one of 6th grade. We are now two years later and the drama continues. Each time she is brought up, I remind my daughter that middle school is hard and everyone is struggling to figure things out. She watches other girls get caught in the trap of being her friend, just to be discarded a few months later. It is heartbreaking.
Our most recent conversation was right after I read the chapter “The Baddest Witch in the World” in Ramona the Pest where Ramona was more fearful of not being known behind her mask than her scary mask itself. I realized this girl is wearing a mask because she doesn’t feel known. To be known by her classmates, she pretends to be an extraordinarily confident girl who loves herself and puts others down. To be known by her teachers, she strives to be the teachers’ best friend. It makes me wonder, in reality, she does not feel known by God.
When you feel known by God, you are comfortable with who you are. You don’t need anyone else to help you feel known.
Our kids need to feel known by God. Years ago, one of my favorite writers and pastors, Francis Chan, said that the one thing he prays over his children is that they love Jesus. That’s it. If they have a genuine great love for God, they will seek Him, know Him, and feel Him when they are in their darkest moments of life.
This is also my prayer. I want my children to know God created them and loves them. We don’t make it to church every week, but we are there consistently because I never want them to forget how loved they are by their Heavenly Father. I tell them at home. I speak about His love for us regularly, but keeping the arms of God’s church wrapped around them helps them to feel loved and known.
Our children today are confused about which gender they are, whose child they are, which house they live in, and who are their true friends. What would it look like if our children learn from day one that they are loved and known by God? When they are confused about their identity our kids can feel confident in knowing a God who created them in His image? What if they know that the greatest friend they could ever have is the God who will always be there?
Friends, this life is not easy. We were not promised it would be (John 16:33), but we can survive through being known by the One who is in control of it all. The greatest gift we can receive is a relationship with God. The greatest gift we can give to our children is the loving embrace of a God who knows them.
Need help knowing where to begin? Find a church that teaches how to build a relationship with God through His Word; a church that places a priority on growing in your relationship God as well teaching children the love of God. Pray that God would lead you to where you need to be to help you and your children feel known by Him.