The Self-Esteem Culture


My family recently had an exchange student from France stay with them for about three weeks. He was surprised by many things here in the states. One thing that shocked him was our self-esteem movement. Nowadays adults are so worried about children’s self-esteem they always make sure everyone feels equally important no matter now much effort they have put into anything.

Kid’s play soccer and are all greeted with a medal at the end to make sure no one feels like a loser.

One child sits idly by while his friend works diligently on a school project. In order to protect both children’s feelings, they both get an “A.”

What are we teaching our kids? We are teaching our children to be lazy and self-obsessed.

“‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ (Genesis 6:5).

We long to be told, “You are good!” but only Jesus Christ and those clothed in his goodness deserve to hear it.”

I love this quote from Elise Fitzpatrick’s book Give Them Grace. She hits it right on the nose. In reality, no one deserves to hear “You are good!” Instead of teaching our kids how amazing they are, we need to be reminding them how rotten they are aside from Christ.

The more we teach our children of their own greatness, the further we pull them away from Christ.

Now what? How do we apply this with our children?

  • When our children disobey or do something they shouldn’t you can sit them down for a talk. Explain to them that we all fall short of the standard Christ has called us to, but He always forgives and we merely need to go to him and ask for help.
  • Show your children what it means to depend on Christ. When you fail or fall short, bring it to light in front of your kids. Allow them to pray with you.
  • Stories are a great way to show children the consequence of living a life depending only on yourself. The Jesus Story Book Bible is a great tool for this because the whole point in EVERY story is that Jesus is the hero, not the men and women in the bible.

Challenge: Comment on this post and share ways you have taught your children to depend on Christ rather than themselves. 


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