At the local high school and middle school where my kids attend, signs have recently been placed at the bus entrance to encourage the kids. They say things like: you are awesome, you’ve got this, and you are not alone. When I first saw the signs, I smiled with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and thought, what a nice gesture. I asked my kids if they liked the signs, but they just shrugged in their teen and preteen way.
After probing a little more, we started talking about how they don’t know who set up with the signs or why they were there (perhaps for midterms). They thought the signs were nice, but it didn’t stir their emotions as much as a coach, teacher, or parent looking you in the eye and saying you are awesome. Because they don’t know who’s conveying the message, it lacked meaning and to them felt generic.
Okay, I get that, but with all the social pressure and negative messages conveyed, we could use a reminder that we are awesome.
Almost every day, when my kids leave for school, I tell them, “Remember who loves you and whose child you are.” I want them to hear from my voice that not only does mom and dad love them, but more importantly, God loves them. When they have peer pressure or decisions to make, I want them to hear mom’s voice echo in their mind, reminding them whose child they are and whom they represent – not only the Dudley family but Jesus Christ.
That day in the car, I got a chance to tell them how we don’t need a sign to let us know we’re awesome because we have God’s word that tells us we are uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s image (Psalm 139:14). We’ve got this because we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). And, we know we’re not alone because the Bible says our God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Because we read our Bible, we can grasp the depth of love God holds for us and the lengths he’ll go to demonstrate that love. And because we have a personal relationship with the Author who wrote these things, we can stand tall with confidence. We can move with purpose, knowing who we are in Christ.
Turns out, the signs allowed for a great opportunity to speak to my boys and encourage them to daily read the Bible—because we all need to hear from God’s lips that He made us awesome.
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