NH Media Team’s Lisa Brown brings you a summary of the second seminar in the “Parenting” series at New Horizon this week.  Here is what Rachel Turner had to say:

The subject of confidence is really close to my heart primarily because it is so important and we don’t know anything really about it. We feel like if we can’t get parenting right then something serious could go wrong; if the people we love don’t have confidence then they can’t step fully into all that God has for them.

The world has a formula for how to be confident; you look at yourself at the mirror and say ‘I am awesome’. People tell you, if you just believe in yourself, you can achieve. You are gifted and special and good at what you do. The Christian world also has a formula: you look in the mirror and say ‘God has made me awesome’. However our formulas aren’t working.

When God called people, it wasn’t confidence that made God pick them. When I started to look at confidence I was really excited to see what scripture would say, I always imagined that scripture would be filled with confident people. Scripture doesn’t say anything about self-confidence

What is Confidence? It is freedom form self-consciousness, it is freedom from fear, it is freedom from working for him without worrying about ourselves.

So, how do we talk to our children about this? We want our kids to wake up and be excited about their day ahead to see what God has in store for them not be afraid of the day.

I have three statements of advice or confidence:

  1. God is awesome and holy, and He loves me totally.

In Exodus chapters 3 & 4, God Himself tells Moses to bring the children out of Egypt. Moses drops his eyes and focuses on himself and asks ‘Who am I to go?’ God doesn’t say, “You can do this, you are more capable than you think,” instead, God says “I will be with you.” It’s all about God, not about me; we need to keep our focus on God not on us. Moses counters with objections, but “I am slow of speech and tongue,” essentially, Moses is saying “my skills and gifting’s aren’t enough and don’t match what you need.”

God didn’t choose Moses for his skills and gifting’s, God chose Moses for what God could do through him. It is not about us.

I remember a young boy that had a stutter came to me and asked for prayer ministry. When we finished praying he continued to sit silent and in tune with God. After 10 minutes, he spoke with tears pouring out of his eye, and with his stutter, “God has His hand on my chest! You see my father left when I was young, and I never got to experience the hand of a father or feel the warmth of His touch, but I can fell God’s hand on my chest!” he was very emotional and so we asked was there anything happening with your mouth? he replied “I don’t care about my mouth, God has His hand on me!”. The boy’s focus shifted from himself to God.

  1. He is daily shaping me to be like Him and I am not finished yet.

Everybody wants to be perfect. We should really stop saying perfect, stop waiting on the perfect time and the perfect day. There is no such thing as perfect.

2 Corinthians 3:7-18 “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all…are being transformed into His image.”

Nobody is perfect, and if we accept that we are not yet perfect, it is easier to be confident. How boring would the ‘Great British Bake Off’ be if we only saw the finished product, the joy is in the process. We don’t walk in to the cake mix in the bowl, and say that is a terrible wedding cake nor do we say that it is perfect as it is right now.

We are not yet finished.

There shouldn’t be afraid of failure or not able to achieve everything, we need bring the imperfect you and partner with God and do what He wants you to do and that is enough.

  1. I am invited to be a small part of His wonderful plans.

We do not have to be perfect to be useful. In our imperfections, God has great and wonderful plans for you. So often people are used by God in their weakness 1 Corinthians 4:7 ‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Why do we/our kids have this need or want for perfection? We should tell them stories of how imperfect people are used by God, tell them how God moves through the imperfections. If we can make our failures and what God has taught us through them, part of our daily lives and normal conversations they will begin to accept that they are not expected to be perfect.

Kids often get ‘stuck’ in their skills and gifting, but we don’t have to stay in that box, ie just because you have a good voice doesn’t mean you have to be a worship leader or singer. God picked Moses, who as we already know, wasn’t a good talker to be the voice for Israel.

As parents, when we are getting ready to leave the house for the day, we pack a dag bag. Will fill this bag with things that we may need later on, ie water, spare clothes and snacks. This bag is to facilitate our day, they bag does not define our day; we do not go through the bag and say I have spare clothes for the children, I must use them.

Confidence is not worrying about what we see in ourselves, but what God sees in us.

What do you want to see grow in the life of your children? I want our girls to be brave and kind so we praise not only their kindness, but how their kindness affects someone else. When they understand the kindness they bring, they won’t walk into a room and not be afraid about what others see or what others feel about them, they will walk into a room thinking about how they can affect the lives of others.

We need to be careful that we don’t get into the label battle, that we label our children as beautiful or winners. Instead we need to praise their character instead of their attributes. We want them to measure themselves against the character that lasts. It not about winning or losing the race its about the run.