Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cultivating Confident Kids

Did you see the news about the school shooting that was meant to be bigger than the Columbine shooting of 1999? 

Many parents nowadays do their children a disservice. By hearing things like "You're the best" or "You can achieve anything you want" or "You'll always be a winner" ... we set our kids up for false confidence. The more I know God, the more I understand that the truth is I am weak, and He is strong, and I can do nothing apart from Him. Our kids are in the process of understanding that. They need "real confidence," and they can have it.

The more I seek God, the more confident I am.

Real confidence is based on God's constant protection. If you saw how Jared Cano's plans to carry out a school shooting in Tampa, FL were thwarted Wednesday, you probably need confidence for your child, too. This morning I told the officer (can you believe it?) at our high school "Thank you so much for being here." But real confidence is based on God's constant protection.

Psalm 27 tells us God invites us to seek Him (v.8). We can do that, because He shelters us (vv.5-6), even when we feel vulnerable and unsheltered by others who should shelter us.

Knowing God wants to be sought as our shelter caused the Psalmist to lead the way in a confident response: We will worship Him (vv. 4-6).  We believe He will hear us and do good (v.13).  We will have a teachable spirit to be led by Him (v.11).

Confidence in God, according to Psalm 27, is the answer for things like evil doers, adversaries, foes, armies, wars, false witnesses, and even plans for school shootings in 2011.   Knowing this, the Psalmist wants ONE THING from God:

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life"

If you have a child or a friend or a loved one, they WILL face a crisis sometime this year. I will face a crisis sometime this year, and so will you. Don't brace yourself in fear. Seeking God in a crisis cultivates confidence.  It gives us the guts to shout with David:

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

Stick THAT in your child's lunchbox! :) The more they seek Him, the more confident they'll be. Cultivate that real confidence by:
  1. Praying using God's words with your child.
  2. Reading scripture together daily, even if it's a "bite." 
  3. Keeping verse cards in the car, so you don't let them go without some truth.
  4. Praying at strategic times, like when they go to a place like school or an event.
  5. Saying out loud that you are confident God will be with, watch over and hear them.

I want to share this prayer with you, based on Psalm 27. It's set on a photograph that will help to imprint the image on your heart and mind (or that of your child) that God is our confidence, and on HIM we can stand firm. Why not pray this prayer with your child before they go to school or to "that practice" or into "that group" of kids or wherever they go? It's based on Psalm 27 and uses words right out of scripture. I pray it will help your child to be filled with a fresh wind of confidence and that you might find you're swept up in that too!

Psalm 27 Prayer

7 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Michelle said...

Julie, this is such a timely post for my family and I. Not only will we be moving to a new state without a job, but I have one child in particular that struggles with fear and a lack of confidence.

I love those scripture verses!  Thank you.

Nancy said...

Thank you Julie :)

Lisa Hurley said...

Thank you, Julie. What a great post. I think about this every day when I think about how I am raising my daughter. So many people these days believe, "I can do all things" but the second half of a very important message ("through Christ who strengthens me") is often missing. Thanks for reminding us that our strength, courage and confidence are provided by Him. 

Cindy Bultema said...

Love it! I will definitely put it to use this school year. Thanks for sharing! (And awesome pic too!)
Love to you, my friend!
Cindy :)

Julie_Sanders said...

I'm so glad, Cindy, and loving hugs back to YOU ;)

Julie Sanders


Julie_Sanders said...

Yes, Lisa, that 2nd half is the key ... through CHRIST who strengthens me. I love that! Oh, I pray we can teach our kids to believe that with all their hearts. I'm with you Lisa!

Julie Sanders


Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Michelle, I will be praying for your family as you move, especially for your one struggling with fear. Feel free to email me ( and give me a name and any other specifics I can lift up for you. When we moved to TN, our oldest was really overwhelmed by fears. Her first day at school (ever!) was PAINFUL. I look back now and see how God orchestrated each answer to prayer and each provision. I know He was with my JoHanna when she was struggling, and at times that truth alone was my only comfort. I will pray for peace AND provision for your family. Hang on to your hope in the Lord! Isn't it comforting to know He already knows what's ahead, and He's already working for YOUR good? I'm praying that for YOU, friend. :)